Sustainable livestock development in low- and middle-income countries: shedding light on evidence-based solutions
The livestock sector and its environmental impacts have been a subject of growing global concern, reflected in intensive public and scientific discussions. Since the publication of ‘Livestock’s Long Shadow’ by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) in 2006, livestock has been universally criticized for its large contribution to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, land use change, soil degradation, water use and loss of biodiversity (Steinfeld et al 2006, Herrero et al 2015, Hilborn et al 2018). Widely publicized recent reports, such as the EAT-Lancet report (Willett et al 2019), prompted a wave of media outreach arguing that one of the main solutions to the climate change and human health crises, globally, is to eat no or little animal source foods (ASFs).
Global media continues to be dominated by concerns about adverse environmental and health impacts of livestock, while the coverage of livestock’s contribution to livelihoods has been declining (Marchmont Communications 2019). These negative narratives, mostly rooted in industrial livestock production systems and overconsumption of ASF in Western countries, overshadow the various complex and often positive roles livestock plays in low- and middle income countries (LMICs) in Africa, South America and South(-East) Asia. A singular focus on livestock associated environmental impacts ignores livestock’s crucial livelihood functions in smallholder systems such as nutrition, income, asset provision, insurance, and nutrient cycling (Herrero et al 2013a). Institutions such as the FAO have been working towards higher awareness of the contributions of the livestock sector to the sustainable development goals, including economic growth, poverty reduction, ending malnutrition, gender equality and ecosystem service provision (FAO 2018). For example, the cereal-based diets of poor people in LMICs regularly lack bioavailable (micro)nutrients, which are highly concentrated in livestock products. Vulnerable groups in LMICs, such as pregnant and lactating women, and children, would benefit from more, and not less, ASF consumption to improve physical and cognitive health, and reduce stunting (Gupta 2016, Adesogan et al 2020, Shapiro et al 2019). In this perspective paper, we present results from novel analysis that demonstrate the urgent need for LMIC-specific evidence on livestock and the environment to inform a more nuanced global discussion and decision-making supporting sustainable livestock development.
International e-workshop: Pastoralism and Sustainable Development, July 14-15, 2021
Announcement & Call for Abstracts
The two-day e-workshop “Pastoralism and Sustainable Development” will take place online (via the Zoom platform) on July 14-15, 2021. The international e-workshop is organized in the framework of PACTORES project (Pastoral ACTORs, Ecosystem services and Society as key elements of agro-pastoral systems in the Mediterranean) (http://www.pactores.eu), funded within ERANET-MED program (project code: ERANETMED2-72-303).
The e-workshop will serve as a forum for the exchange of insights, ideas and good practices regarding the multifaceted nexus between pastoralism (including agro-pastoralism, silvo-pastoralism, and agro-silvo-pastoralism) and sustainable development (including the Sustainable Development Goals - SDGs) in the Mediterranean and beyond.
Why Livestock Matter
Making the Case: Sustainable Livestock for Development
Livestock are critical for sustainable development yet often overlooked. The world’s cows, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry and other farm animals are the mainstay of livelihoods across the developing world. And the energy and nutrient-dense milk, meat and eggs these animals produce provide hundreds of millions of families in the world’s poorer countries with basic livelihoods, incomes, food and nutrition.
Book Announcement – Sustainable Goat Production in Adverse Environments: Volume II
Local Goat Breeds
Editors: Simões, João, Gutiérrez, Carlos
Some chapters were written by IGA members.
6) Adaptation of Local Meat Goat Breeds to South African Ecosystems – Carina Visser
16) The Canary Islands’ Goat Breeds (Majorera, Tinerfeña, and Palmera): An Example of Adaptation to Harsh Conditions – Noemí Castro, Anastasio Argüello and Juan Capote
18) Current Status of Goat Farming in the Czech Republic – Zuzana Sztankoova and Jana Rychtarova
About this book
This book covers more than 40 indigenous goat breeds and several ecotypes around the globe and describes genotypic and phenotype traits related to species adaptation to harsh environments and climate change. It also addresses sustainable global farming of local goat breeds in different production systems and agro-ecosystems. Discussing three main global regions: Asia, Africa, and Europe, it particularly focuses on adverse environments such as mountain, semiarid and arid regions.
The topic of this highly readable book includes the disciplines of animal physiology, breeding, sustainable agriculture, biodiversity and veterinary science, and as such it provides valuable information for academics, practitioners, and general readers with an interest in those fields.
READ MORE ABOUT THESE BOOKS…
Written by Dr. Christopher Lu
This is an advance summary of a forthcoming article in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Environmental Science. Please check back later for the full article.
Dairy has intertwined with human society since the beginning of civilization. It evolves from the arts in ancient societies to science in the modern world. Its roles in nutrition and health are underscored by the continuous increase in global consumption. Milk production increased by almost 50%, just in the past quarter century alone. Population growth, income rise, nutritional awareness, and science and technology advancement have contributed to a continuous trend of increased milk production and consumption globally.
The International Goat Association promotes goat research and development for the benefit of humankind, to alleviate poverty, to promote prosperity and to improve the quality of life.
International Goat Association
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Little Rock, Arkansas 72210 USA