strategy

Compiling database of domestic animal genetics

Synonyms:
Mapping genomes of domestic animals
Researching genetic characteristics of domesticated fauna
Description:
(a) Promote the establishment of regional gene banks to the extent that they are justified, based on principles of technical cooperation among developing countries; (b) Process, store and analyse animal genetic data at the global level, including the establishment of a world watch list and an early warning system for endangered breeds; global assessment of scientific and intergovernmental guidance of the programme and review of regional and national activities; development of methodologies, norms and standards (including international agreements); monitoring of their implementation; and related technical and financial assistance; (c) Prepare and publish a comprehensive database of animal genetic resources, describing each breed, its derivation, its relationship with other breeds, effective population size and a concise set of biological and production characteristics.
Context:
Between 30 to 40% of the 4,000 breeds of livestock in existence today are now threatened by their replacement with a few high-input, high-producing varieties by highly selective, intensive industrial stockbreeding and indiscriminate cross-breeding. Many of these threatened breeds are well adapted to the difficult conditions often found in developing countries, providing many benefits. In addition, the biodiversity contained by these livestock comprise a genetic pool for traits that can be exploited to respond to unforeseen future needs.
Implementation:
This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities.

In 1993, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), having worked together to establish a global data base of domestic animal breeds, published the [World Watch List for Domestic Animals]. The list is the first attempt to document the state of global livestock genetic diversity, and was developed as an early warning system to help prevent erosion of genetic diversity in domestic animal species. The list covers asses, buffaloes, cattle, goats, horses, pigs and sheep to date, and among them the list has identified over 390 breeds at critical risk of extinction. The numbers will increase in future editions as the list incorporates all 30 to 40 domestic animal species in use. The World Watch List is based on the FAO Global Databank, part of the Global Information System for Domestic Animal Diversity.

Subjects:
Genetics
Animals
Data, codes
Households
Research
Cartography
Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies