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Archive for 2006


India’s herding communities: Affirm our customary grazing rights!

On this year’s Human Rights Day, 10th December, representatives of herding communities from all over India rallied in Delhi to draw attention to their plight and discuss strategies for reviving their customary grazing rights. For hundreds of years these mobile livestock keepers have held together rural life by providing draught animals, milk, meat, wool, manure, and general ecosystem services.

But in the last several decades these diverse and colourful people that include the Raika and Gujjar of Rajasthan, the Maldhari of Gujarat, the Gaddi in Himachal, Bakkarwal in Kashmir, Van Gujjar in Uttaranchal, Changpa in Ladakh, Golla in Orissa, Kuruba in Karnataka, Toda and Konar in Tamil Nadu, and many more, have felt the squeeze of “development” and of generally unsympathetic government policies. The establishment of wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, joint-forest management schemes, allotment of common land for commercial plantation or bio-diesel cultivation, expansion of irrigation agriculture are all developments that have constricted their customary grazing areas.

Click here for more.


Cashing in on camels

LPPS has launched a project to promote camels as a source of income in Rajasthan’s deserts.

The project will:

  • Educate and raise awareness of traditional camel breeding communities about new marketing options
  • Support camel breeders in innovating their production systems
  • Establish linkages with research institutes
  • Liaise with and lobby government agencies for an appropriate policy framework
  • Catalyze private sector involvement and investment in manufacturing and marketing camel products
  • Strengthen camel breeders’ organisation to retain ownership of production processes
  • Facilitate establishment of a common platform for all stakeholders in the camels.

LPPS has opened an office in Jaisalmer to manage this project. Contact:

Hanwant Singh Rathore
Reviving Rajasthan’s Camel Husbandry Project
LPPS, Plot #760, Anchalwansi Colony, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India
Tel. 02992-250652, mobile 09414818564,

Reviving Rajasthan’s Camel Husbandry is a project of Lokhit Pashu-Palak Sansthan, conducted in cooperation with the League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development in the context of the LIFE Network and supported by the Ford Foundation.

More information: 213 kb, 131 kb


Support Indian pastoralists’ traditional forest grazing rights

India marks its independence on 15 August – an ideal occasion to press for the rights of pastoralists to their traditional grazing rights in the country’s forests.

A ban on traditional grazing in forests threatens the pastoralists’ livelihoods. Many are forced to give up keeping animals, in turn threatening the survival of many unique livestock breeds.

India’s forests must be conserved. But so too must the livelihoods and rights of the people who depend on them.

Please print out one of these letters, sign it, and mail or fax it to the addresses below.

  • Letter to be signed by pastoral communities or associations. 27 kb
  • Letter to be signed by non-pastoral communities, volunteers or NGOs in support of pastoralists. 28 kb


  • Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, New Delhi 110011. Fax 011 – 23019545, 23016857
  • Mr. Raja, Minister of Environmental and Forests, Paryavaran Bhawan, Lodhi Road, New Delhi 3 (Fax 011 – 24362222)3)
  • Dr. Abdul Kalam, President of India, Rashtrapathy Bhawan, New Delhi – 110 004 (Fax 011 – 23017290, 23017824)
  • If you live in India, the authorities in your State.

Documenting animal genetic resources

Documentation of animal genetic resources: the LIFE method

Ilse Köhler-Rollefson and Hanwant Singh Rathore

LEISA Magazine, March 2006

Describes the LIFE approach to documenting livestock keepers’ knowledge about their breeds.

Download 310 kb, 3 pages


Farm animal genetic resources from the perspective of rural communities

Asia-level workshop hosted by Lokhit Pashu-Palak Sansthan, 12-16 October 2003

This workshop introduced the “LIFE Method” of documenting breeds, exposed livestock and animal breeding professionals to field situations and familiarized them with the perspective of livestock breeding communities, provided background information on evolving issues within the sector (such as the upcoming negotiations for an International Treaty on Farm Animal Genetic Resources), and projected the status of selected Indian livestock breeds.

Recommendations to promote the sustainable use of farm animal genetic resources in Asia covered four issues:

  • Documentation of animal genetic resources (role of traditional communities)
  • Strengthening the role of traditional communities in conserving and managing sustainable AnGR
  • Support for traditional communities to maintain their role, lobbying for cultural diversity
  • Treaty and legal requirements for the conservation and protection of intellectual property rights.

Workshop report 1216 kb (also available here).



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