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Domestic animal diversity is being lost at an alarming rate. Worldwide, local livestock breed are being crossed or replaced with higher-yielding animals. In collaboration with livestock communities, research centres, universities, governmental and non-governmental organizations, FAO identified and documented 13 case studies, presented in this publication, on how communities manage their local animal genetic resources.
These cases studies demonstrate that local knowledge is crucial in preserving the equilibrium between farmers, their animals and the environment. However, livestock keepers' role in maintaining this balance and conserving biodiversity is under a great deal of pressure from training land tenure policies to the benefit of the private sector and the expansion of natural reserves.
Formal government involvement could significantly reduce farmer's exposure to these risks. This study aims to raise awareness and subsequently encourage decision-makers to include conservation and development of animal genetic resources in legal, regulatory and institutional planning.