The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2024 the International Year of Camelids, making the point that camelids are the main means of subsistence for millions of families who live in the most hostile ecosystems on the planet in over 90 countries, and emphasizing that these animals are essential for food security and nutrition as they are the main source of meat protein and milk for smallholder farmers and indigenous communities in different regions throughout the world. They also provide fibres, organic fertilizer and transport and are indispensable for nomadic livelihoods.
This is certainly an appropriate justification, but as of now, there does not seem to be much of a coordinated effort to make the most of the opportunity presented by the IYC. Some background information and thoughts from our perspective can be found in this presentation. We at LPP are all set to highlight the traditional knowledge (TK) of camel pastoralists and its role in maintaining camel biodiversity, as well as develop the concept of ‘cruelty-free’ camel milk and ‘planetary’ rather than ‘plant-based’ diets, together with our partners and social enterprises. Do get in touch if you would like to join this initiative!