On 12th February, VSF International organised the Special Session of the Farmers’ Forum with Pastoralists and Livestock Breeeders Organisations at IFAD, in Rome.
18 pastoralists and livestock breeders representatives from Africa, Asia and Latin America participated to the Special Session in Rome, bringing messages from the regional consultations held in January. During the whole day they could exchange their views, concerns and experiences, but also propose solutions to promote a more favorable environment for the sustainable development of pastoralism and livestock keeping.
Pastoralism is the main livelihood in many drylands, mountainous and other areas, where other forms of agricultural practices are impossible. Pastoralists contribute to efficient management, governance of rangelands and protection of natural resources. In such challenging territories pastoralism presents the best livelihood strategy to provide food, income and employment; these benefit not only pastoral communities, but also those living in farming areas, urban centres and coastal regions, who all profit from regional trade and from the value chains of pastoral products. Pastoralism also provides essential eco-system services such as carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation.
However, “despite the many benefits of pastoralism, our communities are facing numerous challenges that threaten our ways of life” stated pastoralists’ and livestock breeders’ delegates at Farmers Forum.
Participants recalled that IFAD has a crucial role to play to improve the livelihoods of the hundreds of millions of pastoralists and livestock keepers worldwide. For this reason, they elaborated a series of recommendations to IFAD, regarding investment priorities, facilitation of policy dialogue, and improved partnership with pastoralists and extensive livestock breeders organisations.
All these key messages are included in the Statement of the Special Session with Pastoralists and Extensive Livestock Breeders, which was presented at the Farmers’ Forum and received by IFAD and all Farmers Organisations participating in the process.
Statement of the Special Session: