FAO and non-governmental organizations got together to focus on livestock development issues
The current global animal production landscape is wide, complex and multifaceted. FAO recognises the important role played by the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in promoting responsible livestock practices as part of their programme and that there are opportunities for greater cooperation. With this in mind, the Animal Production and Health Division (AGA) took the initiative to invite major international NGOs with an interest in livestock development to an informal consultation in Rome, 1-2 December, 2009. The main objective was for both parties to inform each other of their work, identify and foster synergies, and explore possible collaborative activities.
Participating organizations were Oxfam Novib, the Brooke, Agronomes et Vtrinaires Sans Frontires (AVSF), Vtrinaires Sans Frontires-Belgium, Heifer International, Practical Action, World Vision International, Mercy Corps, the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), the League for Pastoral People and Endogenous Livestock Development, Terra Nuova and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). The following FAO entities made presentations: Animal Production and Health Division, Emergency and Rehabilitation Division, Rural Infrastructur and Agro-Industries Division, Plant Production and Protection Division, Strategic Planning Unit, Statistics Division and the Legal Office.
During the meeting, participants saw an array of new opportunities for greater cooperation such as the development of multi-stakeholder strategic partnerships and alliances; improved communication flows between players; education, training and capacity building; raising awareness on pressing sectoral challenges; and creation and dissemination of relevant information on contemporary livestock issues.
At the end of the consultation, a facilitated discussion agreed:
- To develop further the idea of a constructive AGA/NGOs partnership to address the major challenges facing the livestock sector.
- Those organizations participating had similar priorities, working philosophies, and mandates that could be leveraged by FAO to promote the responsible contribution of livestock to sustainable food security and poverty alleviation.
- Explore joint activities in areas were there are clear advantages and mutual benefits that could easily and rapidly be developed.
- NGOs and AGA should work together to make full use of existing web-based information platforms to ensure a greater understanding of their respective programmes and areas of expertise.