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Tropentag, October 5 - 7, 2004 in Berlin

"Rural Poverty Reduction
through Research for Development and Transformation"

Gene Flow in Animal Genetic Resources – A Study on Status, Impacts, Trends

Katinka Musavaya, Anne Valle Zárate

University of Hohenheim, Institute of Animal Production in the Tropics and Subtropics, Germany


Animal migration and exchange has always taken place, but at present development of modern breeding methods, advances in trade, transportation, communication and a trend to uniformity of breeding goals increasingly foster the exchange of breeding animals and material. Quantitative data on the exchange of livestock genetic resources between the various regions of the world is lacking. The advantages and disadvantages of gene flow for stakeholders have not yet been assessed although stakeholders argue that animal genetic resources are being used without sharing of benefits. An overview of the current status of exchange of genetic material is required to draft policies and programmes at national, regional or global level.

In a global study the historical development of gene flow will be shown and the influence of artificial insemination and other reproduction techniques and changes in breeding organisation on the dissemination of breeds will be described. Based on the indications of the global study, several case studies will then seek in-depth information on selected breeds and regions about impacts of gene flow. The advantages and disadvantages of gene flow for different stakeholders and its effect on agro-biodiversity will be analysed. Sources of information will be international statistical trade records, project reports, publications and expert interviews.

Beneficiaries of the study political decision-makers, farmers, pastoralists and breeders, particularly in developing countries, relevant international bodies and donor institutions who are provided with a policy support tool for negotiations on Access Benefit Sharing, for assessing the need for an international agreement on livestock genetic resources and for regulating livestock genetic transfer in the frame of the currently in FAO discussed "Global Strategy for the Management of Animal Genetic Resources".

International legitimacy is aspired by a multi-agent approach. The study is implemented by the Institute of Animal Production in the Tropics and Subtropics of the University of Hohenheim and commissioned by BMZ/GTZ. FAO acts as a support agency. An advisory panel composed of international scientists, representatives of donor and development agencies, the private sector and NGOs accompanies the study.

Keywords: Animal genetic resources, biodiversity, breeding animals, gene flow, policy support, semen trade

Contact Address: Katinka Musavaya, University of Hohenheim, Institute of Animal Production in the Tropics and Subtropics, Garbenstraße 17, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany, e-mail: musavaya@uni-hohenheim.de

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