Adapted livestock breeds enable their keepers to take advantage of common property resources. They are an important resource for maintaining food security in remote areas and in the adaptation to climate change. To ensure their long-term survival, the livestock keepers who have bred and nurtured these breeds need a bundle of rights that enable them to continue keeping these breeds and make a living from them. Players in livestock development should support the struggle of the livestock keepers for recognition during the negotiations at various international forums. This article summarizes the three principles and five rights that make up Livestock Keepers’ Rights.
A biocultural protocol is a document that records a community’s role in ecosystem management, and states its rights to benefit from the ecosystem. Several groups of livestock keepers have created biocultural protocols describing their animal breeds and their indigenous knowledge about their breeds.
Biocultural community protocols are a new approach with great potential for empowering pastoralists and other traditional livestock-keeping communities. They are both a process and a document in which communities invoke their rights as guardians of biological diversity under Article 8j of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. Claiming rights for in-situ conservation, they also help promote Livestock Keepers’ Rights to maintain their breeds and continue their traditional management practices.
Biocultural community protocols put on record traditional knowledge and the biodiversity that communities steward, in a process that the communities themselves drive. In developing a biocultural community protocol, communities become informed about national and international laws that protect their rights. This book provides an overview of the process as well as its legal background and describes the first experiences with implementing this approach by livestock keepers in Asia and Africa.