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Archive for 2008

14Jan

Drynet newletter published

The first issue of News from Drynet contains two articles by LPPS.

In one, LPPS’s Namitha Dipak interviews Dr Mannava VK Sivakumar, Chief of the Agrometeorology Division of the World Meteorological Organisation. Dr Sivakumar stressed the need for effective extension services to advise farmers about weather forecasts, and to develop local efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Another article features a visit by a Raika delegation to Europe, where they pressed for recognition of the role of pastoralists in developing and conserving livestock breeds at international conferences in Switzerland and Spain. The delegation also visited a goat dairy and organic farm in Germany and a sheep-rearing area high in the Alps of Switzerland.

A further article in the newsletter, by Ilse Koehler-Rollefson of LPPS partner organization the League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development, stresses the need to reward pastoralists for their environmental services.

“Scientific programmes to increase drought resistance of organisms are funded with millions of dollars,” says Ilse. “Yet the day-to-day efforts of pastoralists to keep and develop animals under drought conditions and thereby sustain crucial gene pools – that will prove priceless during climate change – remain entirely unrewarded.”

The Drynet project, funded by the European Union, involves 14 partner organizations around the world. LPPS is responsible for producing a regional edition of the newsletter for South Asia.

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12Jan

Rajasthan Chief Minister commits to camels

LPP’s Ilse Koehler-Rollefson (right) discusses with Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje

Vasundhra Raje promises support for camels

Thousands of Raika commemorated the death of Bhopala Ram Raika

11 January 2008 was the first death anniversary of Bhopala Ram Raika, a famous leader of the Raika camel pastoralists of Rajasthan. Thousands of Raika gathered to mark the event, with Vasundhra Raje, Chief Minister of Rajasthan, as guest of honour.

Ilse Koehler-Rollefson of the League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development, and Hanwant Singh, director of Lokhit Pashu-Palak Sansthan, also attended.

Ilse was invited to give a speech to the political dignitaries and a crowd of Raika estimated at 5000-7000 people. She recalled that Bhopala Ram Raika had introduced her to the Raika community in 1992, laying the foundation of LPP’s and LPPS’s work in Rajasthan. LPP later invited him to an international meeting in Tanzania and a tour of a camel farm and dairy in Kenya.

Hanwant and Ilse had the opportunity to meet the chief minister and brief her about the needs of camel pastoralists in the state.

During her speech, the Chief Minister held up a copy of a Drynet newsletter with an article about a visit by a Raika delegation to Switzerland and Spain. Their visit had been arranged by LPP and LPPS as part of efforts to promote the rights of livestock keepers. The newsletter is part of LPPS’s contribution to the European Union-funded Drynet project, a worldwide initiative to combat land degradation.

“This is how far the Raika can go”, she said, promising support for camels, which are iconic animals in Rajasthan.

The following day, the Rajasthan Patrika newspaper carried a special article in Hindi about the state government’s commitment to save the camel.

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