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Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Progress in stopping decline of livestock genetic diversity

While many countries are taking action to halt the erosion of livestock genetic resources, crucial for food and agriculture, a substantial gap remains that needs to be urgently addressed. Reports from 80 countries on the progress made in implementing the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources were presented on today at the Intergovernmental Technical Working Group on Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (24-26 October). Representatives from almost 100 countries are attending the conference 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 reports show that governments are beginning to put programmes into place to reverse the alarming decline in the numbers of indigenous livestock breeds. 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breeds are still classified as being at risk of extinction, although breed population figures are often unreported or out of date, making the true state of livestock diversity difficult to estimate.
Despite the generally limited amount of progress made in developing regions, the country reports indicate that some examples of more active implementation can be found in every region of the world. Reporting countries from Asia are relatively well advanced in establishing conservation schemes for their threatened breeds. In Africa and Latin America, pockets of national success are reported in almost all the priority areas of the Global Plan of Action.

Source: FAO