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What we will do...

This brochure is based on a multi-donor study on livestock-environment interactions, conducted between 1994 and 1996. Its results were summarized in two publications released in 1997. Subsequently, there was a consultation on livestock-environment interactions conducted by ILRI using electronic means, face-to-face interviews and round table discussions involving more than 1,000 participants in over 80 countries worldwide. In June 1997, an International Conference was held in the Netherlands where a first attempt was made to formulate recommendations for policy making and to design technology at regional and production levels. These consultations considerably broadened the debate and brought it closer to the ground.

This multi-donor initiative on livestock and the environment realizes that much more is needed to turn a recognition of the issues into common practice. It is therefore launching a number of activities, notably:

• information gathering and exchange on livestock-environment interactions, focusing on the environmental hotspots. This will be done using electronic communication and will gradually evolve to become a Virtual Centre for Research and Development;

• the provision of decision support on livestock-environment issues through the development of menus of policies and technology options, and the methodology to select the most appropriate options for each local situation. This will help livestock-environment issues to be systematically incorporated in local and national plans, and into bilateral and international development programmes and projects.

Improved management of the world's natural resources is essential if they are to continue to provide the basis for life support and human well-being. Only with improved management can the dual objectives of sustainable agricultural production be fulfilled - to feed the world's growing population while sustaining its natural resource base. Livestock production is the largest land user and is about to become the most important agricultural activity in terms of economic output. Left to uncontrolled growth, not only would the environment suffer but human welfare would also be compromised. However, this is unlikely to happen. The opportunities to tap the immense development potential that livestock offer, while nevertheless minimizing environmental damage are many. Awareness, political will and readiness to act are growing among all those involved and should ensure that the problems are no longer denied but effectively tackled. We hope that this continuing initiative will be a useful contribution to this endeavour.

What we will do...

Environmental "HOTSPOTS" 1

Environmental "HOTSPOTS" 2

The designation employed and the presentation of material in this publications do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


Commission of the European Communities
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
International Fund for Agricultural Development
International Development Research Centre (Canada)
World Bank

and the governments of:


International Development Agency


Ministère de la Coopération


BMZ, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation via GTZ, (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit)


Directorate General of International Cooperation

United Kingdom:

Overseas Development Administration

United States:

Environmental Protection Agency and the Agency for International Development

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