Reports from 80 countries on the progress made in implementing the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources were presented at an international conference.
The reports show that governments are beginning to put programmes into place to reverse the alarming decline in the numbers of indigenous livestock breeds.
Representatives from almost 100 countries are attending the Intergovernmental Technical Working Group on Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (24-26 October) to review the implementation of the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources. The Plan was adopted in 2007 with the objective of improving the management of the world's livestock biodiversity.
"The encouraging news is that on average the countries that submitted reports have begun to implement about half the actions agreed under the Global Plan of Action ranging from conservation schemes to surveys of livestock numbers, to the development of policies and legal frameworks addressing livestock biodiversity," said Irene Hoffmann, Chief of FAO's Animal Genetic Resources Branch.
According to the latest available figures, about 22 percent of the world's livestock breeds are still classified as being at risk of extinction, although breed population figures are often unreported or out of date, making the true state of livestock diversity difficult to estimate.
Countries of former Yugoslavia will join with Albania and Bulgaria to conserve the threatened Busha breed of cattle; Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda will collaborate in improving the management of their indigenous chicken genetic resources; Bolivia and Peru will work together to implement breeding projects for llamas; a regional project in the Southwest Pacific region will establish conservation centres for chickens and pigs in the Cook Islands, Fiji and Niue; Algeria and Morocco will collaborate in the conservation of the Béni Guil sheep breed; and a project in the Gambia, Guinea, Mali and Senegal will investigate the impact of mobile livestock production on the management of genetic diversity.
Wednesday October 24, 2012/ FAO.