The Karen Commitment. Proceedings of a Conference of Indigenous Livestock Breeding Communities on Animal Genetic Resources
Indigenous livestock breeders, as holders of the rights over these biological resources, thus represent prime stakeholders in the emerging debate about legal and regulatory frameworks for the sustainable use of farm animal genetic resources, including a \"breed treaty\", as pendant to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources.
The Convention on Biological Diversity, in its Article 8j, also calls for recognition of the vast amount of in-situ conservation carried out by traditional communities. This call is reflected in Part III of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources, on \"farmers’ rights\". The concept of farmers’ rights is based on the past, present and future contributions of farmers in conserving crop genetic diversity. This provision entitles farmers to the right to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed, to participate in decision-making, and in the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of plant genetic resources. What should such Livestock Keepers’ Rights entail? This is a question that must be debated and answered above all by the prime stakeholders themselves – by the many pastoralist and indigenous livestock keeping communities. This was one of the main reasons for ITDG-EA and LPP to cooperate in organizing an international workshop to bring together as many representatives as possible from these communities and to facilitate discussion between themselves and with selected resource persons.