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  • Henning Steinfeld
    Chief, Livestock Information, Sector Analysis and Policy Branch
    FAO HQ, Room C-542
    Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
    Rome 00153, Italy
    Tel: +39 06 570 54751
  • [email protected]

Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock


Growing populations, income gains and urbanization have made livestock one of the fastest growing sub-sectors of agriculture. Past sector expansion in developed countries and more recently in emerging nations, has been impressive and has been associated with a widespread transformation of the livestock sector. Ensuring that the continuing demand expansion for livestock products does not increase pressure on natural resources and contributes to socially desirable outcomes, however, will require further adjustments and improvements in sector policies, governance and investments.


To address these issues, in 2010, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, with financial support of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture, and Innovation of the Netherlands, started a process of building a Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock on broad based, voluntary and informal stakeholder commitment to act towards improved sector performance by targeting natural resource protection, while including poverty reduction and public health protection, as they relate to the livestock sector. More recently, the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture has also pledged its financial support to the initiative.


A Global Agenda focuses on the improvement of resource-use efficiency in the global livestock sector to support livelihoods, long-term food security and economic growth while safeguarding other environmental and public health outcomes, factoring in regional differences, and linking to other related initiatives as appropriate. The initiative supports improved resource use in the livestock sector resulting from changed practices by stakeholders; and adoption, by the public and private sector, of guidance and recommendations to make livestock food value chains more sustainable.