FAO reports progress in stopping decline of livestock genetic diversityListen /
Many countries are taking action to stop the erosion of livestock genetic resources, crucial for food and agriculture, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The agency says that many governments are beginning to put in place programmes to reverse the "alarming" decline in the numbers of indigenous livestock breeds.
However, FAO points out that progress has been more marked in developed countries with many countries in Africa, the Near East and Latin America and the Caribbean still lagging behind.
Paul Boettcher, Animal Genetic Resources Officer at FAO says the world or a given community needs livestock genetic diversity.
"Genetic diversity is what allows a breeder either to adapt to a given environment or to improve its productivity through selection or another process and one problem is that some of the breeds that may be at risk of extinction do not have this perceived value in the present but this diversity may be important in the future. So the difficulty is a lot of decisions on economics are built for today whereas conservation is something that involves the future."
Reports from 80 countries on progress made in implanting the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources were presented on Wednesday at an international conference in Rome, Italy.