“Biocultural Community Protocols” – are an approach for livestock keeping communities to put on record their traditional knowledge in stewarding biological diversity. They are a legal tool originally conceived by the NGO Natural Justice in response to the need for fair and equitable benefit-sharing agreements under the CBD. The first BCPs were pioneered by communities associated with the LIFE Network for community-based conservation of livestock biodiversity and the approach is receiving intense interest from many sides.

Current Project: Institution and Capacity Building Biocultural Protocols by livestock keeping communities

This ongoing project seeks to “mainstream” Biocultural Protocols as a tool for pastoralist and other livestock keeping communities to document their role in both biodiversity conservation and food production and thereby make visible their importance to policy makers. Within the scope of the project the methodology for Biocultural Protocols is going to be refined and a manual on BCPs will be put together based on the results of a workshop with BCP practioners, community leaders and UN representatives.


Bakkarwal pastoralists looking at the Raika BCP



  • Biocultural Community Protocols for Livestock Keepers. LPPS, 2010.
  • Livestock Keepers. Guardians of biodiversity. FAO Animal Production and Health Paper 167.
  • Keepers of Genes. Indian Pastoralists and their Livestock Breeds. LPPS
  • Indigenous Breeds, Local Communities. Documenting Animal Breeds and Breeding from a Community Perspective