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People and Animals

Traditional Livestock Keepers: guardians of domestic animal diversity







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    Invisible guardians - Women manage livestock diversity 2012
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    This publication presents an analysis of women's role in the sustainable use, development and conservation of animal genetic resources. The importance small-scale farmers and pastoralists as custodians of these resources is well recognized, but has never previously been disaggregated by gender. The differential roles of men and women have largely been neglected in studies of animal genetic resources management, but by piecing together several strands of argument and indirect evidence it can be c oncluded that women are the main guardians of livestock diversity. Global trends in the livestock sector - particularly the shift from subsistence-oriented to market-oriented production, the sedentarization and disintegration of pastoralism, and the emergence of demand for niche market products - are analysed from the perspective of their influence on geneder roles in livestock keeping and animal genetic resources management. Likewise, women's role in the reproductive economy is analysed from the perspective of how this influences the type of livestock they keep. Case studies from many regions of the world illustrate that while to a degree women acquire their role as guardians of diversity by default because of global trends, many also make an active and conscious contribution to the management of animal genetic resources.
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    Livestock keepers
    Guardians of biodiversity
    2009
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    Smallholder farmers and pastoralists fulfill an invaluable yet undervalued role in conserving biodiversity. They act as guardians of locally adapted livestock breeds that can make use of even marginal environments under tough climatic conditions and therefore are a crucial resource for food security and possibly for adapting to climate change. But in addition, by sustaining animals on natural vegetation and as part of local ecosystems, these communities also make a significant contri bution to the conservation of wild biodiversity and of cultural landscapes. The Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources acknowledges and seeks to support this crucial contribution of smallholder farmers and pastoralists to keeping our planet healthy and diverse. The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues backs up this strategic approach and calls for it to be strengthened, while the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity also commits its signatori es to support in situ conservation by local and indigenous communities. This publication provides a glimpse into the often intricate knowledge systems that pastoralists and smallholder farmers have developed for the management of their breeds in specific production systems. It also describes the multitude of threats and challenges these often marginalized communities have to cope with and suggests interventions that can sustain valuable human-animal-environment relationships and co mbine conservation of breeds and their ecosystems with poverty alleviation.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Options for encouraging, guiding and promoting the realization of Farmers’ Rights as set out in Article 9 of the International Treaty 2023
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    Farmers feed the world, by producing the food on which we all depend. Since farmers are the developers and custodians of crop diversity in the field, their rights in this regard are critical to maintain their pivotal role in providing food security and nutrition – never more so than in the current era of climate change and other major challenges facing humanity. The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources (International Treaty) is the first legally binding international agreement to formally recognize the contribution of local and Indigenous communities and farmers to the conservation and development of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. Article 9 of the International Treaty provides for the recognition, realization and promotion of Farmers’ Rights as they relate to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. Farmers’ Rights can be realized through a series of measures and practices that can be put in place to protect, promote and realize these rights. The promotion and realization of these rights enable farmers and farming communities to continue performing their role as developers and custodians of crop diversity, and to feed the world for the generations to come.This publication presents the “Options for encouraging, guiding, and promoting the realization of Farmers' Rights, as set out in Article 9 of the International Treaty". It contains 27 options developed by an expert group, drawing on the experiences of Contracting Parties and stakeholders. Contracting Parties and interested stakeholders are invited to consider the full range of options for implementing Farmers' Rights at the national level, in accordance with their needs and priorities and as appropriate.

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