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Biocultural community protocols: tools for securing the assets of livestock keepers (PLA 65)

The role of communities in animal genetic resource conservation still remains largely invisible to scientists and bureaucrats.
Livestock keepers in Pakistan, India and Kenya have developed community protocols to improve the visibility of the role of livestock keepers in conserving genetic resources, addressing problems of access to grazing land and conserving threatened breeds, as well as asserting customary rights in order to secure
benefits from commercial use. This article examines three different experiences – the Pashtoon, Raika and Samburu BCPs – and
the extent to which these were community-driven processes. It looks at whether and how communities have been able to make use of the protocols in the struggle to have their rights recognised. It concludes that BCPs are extremely useful for making visible the connection between communities and their breeds and important for securing the assets of livestock keepers in the long term.

This article appears in Participatory Learning and Action 65 on Biodiversity and culture: exploring community protocols, rights and consent.

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