Integrating Global Biodiversity Concerns in Agriculture:

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Integrating Global Biodiversity Concerns in Agriculture:

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1. 1 Integrating Global Biodiversity Concerns in Agriculture: The case of the Sustainable Management of Endemic Ruminant Livestock of West Africa Project

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3. 3 The project titled “Sustainable Management of Endemic Ruminant Livestock of West Africa” is a regional initiative undertaken in the areas of agriculture and rural development Sustainable Management of Endemic Ruminant Livestock of West Africa

4. 4 Le Mali recèle d’écosystème qui va des écosystèmes arides jusqu’au écosystème forestiers, en passant par les systèmes semi-arides, Le Mali recèle d’écosystème qui va des écosystèmes arides jusqu’au écosystème forestiers, en passant par les systèmes semi-arides,

5. 5 The project is aimed at preserving the biodiversity of endemic ruminant livestock and improving its productivity. The sectoral objective is to contribute to poverty alleviation and enhancement of food security in West Africa.

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9. 9 Technical and Financial Partners BANK GROUP: African Development Fund (FAD) Governments of Gambia, Guinea, Mali and Senegal

10. 10 SCIENTIFIC PARTNERS ITC is an independent regional research institution in the areas of crop farming and livestock having its headquarters in Banjul. ILRI, based in Nairobi, has made its mission to enhance scientific knowledge and technical capacities in order to increase the standard of living of poor livestock farmers.

11. 11 These specialized subregional organizations will work at country level with the support of the following actors: Agricultural research institutes, veterinary research laboratories, institutions or agencies in charge of natural resource management, environmental monitoring centres, academic institutions, agencies and associations in charge of livestock marketing. COMMUNITIES IN THE FOUR PARTICIPATING COUNTRIES, IN PARTICULAR AGRO-PASTORALISTS

12. 12 The project outcomes will be the following: Increased production and productivity of endemic livestock Commercialisation of endemic livestock products Natural Resource Management at project pilot sites Legal and policy Framework for the sustainable management of endemic livestock Sub-regional system of information exchange for the conservation of endemic livestock

13. 13 The project fits within the framework of NEPAD programmes for agricultural development and environmental protection

14. 14 These genetic resources are resources shared by the participating countries. The proposed project will leverage synergies through regional cooperation, pooling of resources and sharing of the results and experiences in the areas of genetic improvement and development of livestock production systems.

15. 15 Global genetic potential The project focuses on endemic livestock breeds (N’Dama cattle, Djallonké sheep and West African dwarf goat) representing a globally significant genetic treasure trove: resistance to such diseases as trypanosomiasis, endoparasitosis and dermatophilosis. These breeds are adapted to ecological conditions prevailing in the sub-humid zone.

16. 16 The project will provide an opportunity to take into consideration livestock farming policies, match animal population with available natural resources, by way of a reduction in livestock pressures and intensification of production techniques.

17. 17 The commitment to halve poverty by 2015 with the framework of the Millennium Development Goals; Meeting strategic objectives in the areas of food security and poverty reduction; Diversifying and strengthening the economic agricultural base in rural areas, and job creation.

18. 18 The project constitutes an application on the countries’ legislation frameworks of various legal international instruments (Global AGR Strategy, CBD). At subregional level, the project will help the countries elaborate legislation to control cross-breeding among various livestock races.

19. 19 While ensuring the preservation of biodiversity by protecting these endangered animal breeds, the project will remove obstacles to their sustainable management and exploit the tremendous potential of livestock breeding in the subhumid zone of West Africa. The promotion of endemic ruminant livestock breeding will be conducted within agro-pastoralists’ communities (in situ) with the goal of making this activity more profitable while simultaneously preserving these animals’ biodiversity and maintaining their habitats.

20. 20 The main factors impinging upon project progress include the following: Agriculture is essentially rain-fed and subject to the vagaries of climate, Inaccessibility of appropriate technologies, Limited access to primary health care in rural areas. Contributing factors: Countries’ economic and social situation, Deteriorated conditions of rural roads and infrastructure, which create obstacles to marketing of production, in particular in rural areas, Unfavourable terms of exchange for most agricultural commodities.

21. 21 CONCLUSION Four West African countries have undertaken, within a subregional framework, to participate in the preservation of endemic ruminant livestock biodiversity, remove obstacles to sustainable livestock management and leverage the huge potential of livestock breeding in the subhumid zone of West Africa.

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