Surveying and monitoring of animal genetic resources

Surveying and monitoring
of animal genetic resources



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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Rome 2011


The Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources, adopted in 2007, is the first internationally agreed framework for the management of biodiversity in the livestock sector. It calls for the development of technical guidelines to support countries in their implementation efforts. Guidelines on the Preparation of national strategies and action plans for animal genetic resources were published by FAO in 2009 and are being complemented by a series of guideline publications addressing specific technical subjects.

These guidelines on Surveying and monitoring of animal genetic resources address Strategic Priority Area 1 of the Global Plan of Action – “Characterization, inventory and monitoring of trends and associated risks”. They complement, in particular, the guidelines on phenotypic characterization and on molecular genetic characterization. They have been endorsed by the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

Knowledge of animal genetic resources is fundamental to their sustainable use, development and conservation. These guidelines provide advice on how to draw up a strategy for meeting national needs for data and information on animal genetic resources. They also offer practical advice on how to plan and implement an animal genetic resources survey – covering the whole process from planning the survey to disseminating the outputs and taking the first steps in translating results into action. A range of surveying tools are presented, and advice is offered on how they can be combined and integrated within an effective strategy that addresses both the task of acquiring a baseline of data on animal genetic resources and the subsequent task of monitoring changes over time.

Table of Contents




Why survey and monitor animal genetic resources?
Scope of the guidelines
Target audience
Structure of the guidelines and advice for users


Tools for surveying: the basics

The tool box
Matching tools and objectives
Mixing tools


Developing a national surveying and monitoring strategy

Step 1. Obtain the mandate
Step 2. Organize the planning process
Step 3. Assess national needs for AnGR-related data
Step 4. Identify potential approaches to data collection
Step 5. Review the state of resources, capacity-building needs and funding options
Step 6. Review the legal status of the survey data and outline procedures for data storage and access
Step 7. Draft the strategy
Step 8. Conduct a review of the strategy document and obtain formal endorsement


Planning a survey

Step 1. Clarify the objectives of the survey
Step 2. Review the composition of the Survey Team and establish clear management structures
Step 3. Assemble and collate background information and data
Step 4. Review the legal framework
Step 5. Start preparing the “blueprint” of the survey
Step 6. Develop the Communication Plan
Step 7. Develop the sampling frame and the Analysis Plan
Step 8. Develop the Data Management Plan
Step 9. Develop the Field Operations Plan
Step 10. Finalize and approve the blueprint
Step 11. Maintain documentation and costing


Preparing for the field

Step 1. Prepare questionnaires
Step 2. Prepare the kit for the field workers
Step 3. Draft plans for recruitment and management of field workers and their supervisors
Step 4. Recruit field workers
Step 5. Conduct a pilot trial in the field
Step 6. Train field workers and their supervisors


Working in the field

Communicating in the field
Promoting data quality
Making unforeseen sampling decisions
Amending field protocols
Avoiding bias in recording
Achieving informative dialogues with interviewees
Taking photographic records


Data management

Plan data management in advance of data collection
Arrangements for ownership and custodianship of survey data
Choosing the software to use for data management
Documenting operating procedures
Standardizing procedures for managing the raw data
Establishing procedures for data entry
Establishing procedures for data checking
Establishing procedures for data coding
Establishing procedures for data storage and security


Data analysis

Step 1. Review the schedule for the analysis
Step 2. Analyse the data
Step 3. Add value by linking to complementary databases
Step 4. Prepare the report of the analysis


Reporting and communicating results

Step 1. Match the outcomes of the survey to the interests of relevant stakeholders
Step 2. Develop specific messages for each group of stakeholders
Step 3. Consider communication methods
Step 4. Consider the impact of disseminating the survey results
Step 5. Develop and implement the communication strategy
Step 6. Evaluate lessons learned on the survey process
Step 7. Prepare the Final Report of the Survey


Translating results into action

Organize a stakeholder workshop


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ISBN 978-92-5-106973-8

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