Workneh Ayalew, Adam Drucker, Clemens Wollny, Olorounto D. Koudande, Faustin Vidogbena, Hippolyte Dossa, Lemma Gizachew, Ulfina Galmessa:
Community-based Management of Animal Genetic Resources: Experiences in Implementation of Participatory Processes


1International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Ethiopia
2Charles Darwin University, School for Environmental Research, Australia
3National Institute for Agricultural Research, Benin
4Georg-August-University Göttingen, Animal Breeding and Husbandry in the Tropics and Subtropics, Germany
5Oromia Agricultural Research Institute, Ethiopia

Community-based management (CBM) of existing animal genetic diversity in developing countries has been argued to support the improvement of the livelihoods of poor livestock keepers while also ensuring the conservation of the genetic resources. ILRI in collaboration with partner national institutions in Benin Ethiopia and Kenya has been implementing a 3-year CBM research project since September 2004 by developing a framework to fully engage communities in the management of these resources. CBM involves series participatory processes to elicit livestock development priorities of target communities in tandem with preferences of market actors, and to design as well as implementation appropriate interventions that serve community needs while also improving effectiveness and sustainability livestock genetic improvement activities through collective action. In the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), participation also entails application of the principle of Prior Informed Consent (PIC) in research involving biological material and indigenous knowledge. The project already started to create essential community structures as a basis to operate. This paper critically looks in to what constitutes a community in the context of this project and examines experiences with implementation of these participatory processes. The participatory processes opened up broad opportunities to identify livestock development priorities, elicit and incorporate local knowledge and enhance collective action of community members. However, participatory exercises and community preferences were shaped by previously established priorities of the project and perceptions of researchers. These highlighted the need for capacity building at community level and encouraged collective action. In terms of PIC, the project countries have not yet developed the essential institutions that would implement them, and at the community level there is need for capacity building for the communities to fully grasp the implications of PIC. It was therefore concluded that lessons in participatory processes are learned by doing.

Keywords: AnGR, CBD, CBM, community participation, PIC


Contact Address: Workneh Ayalew, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)P O Box 5689, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, e-mail:
Andreas Deininger, September 2006