Earthprint Ltd

Earthprint Ltd

Livestock keepers. Guardians of biodiversity

FAO Animal Production and Health Papers # 167

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. But in addition, by sustaining animals on natural vegetation and as part of local ecosystems, these communities also make a significant contribution to the conservation of wild biodiversity and of cultural landscapes. 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 and it also describes the multitude of threats and challenges these often marginalized communities have to cope with.
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