Thursday, May 20, 2010

Advocating for Pastoralists at the German Parliament

Along with members of the LIFE Network and the League of Pastoral Peoples, Kabir Bavikatte (Natural Justice) was in Berlin, Germany, for a press conference about the concerns of pastoralists and livestock keepers organized by the Church Development Service. The team then presented their concerns in a meeting with the Agricultural Committee at the German Parliament. The emphasis was on lobbying the German government to support Livestock Keepers' Rights within the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and to support community protocols within the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) negotiations under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The team called on the German government to support the following: legally binding livestock keepers' rights; research and breeding of locally adapted livestock breeds; upgrading of the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources; community protocols within the ABS Protocol at the CBD 10th Conference of Parties; organizations challenging the German agricultural export policy and recognition of how it undermines Germany's obligations under the CBD; and inclusion of pastoralists' and livestock keepers' concerns in the Voluntary Guidelines on Good Governance of Land Tenure, which is currently being negotiated for adoption by the FAO Council. At the end of the meeting, the German Parliament's Agricultural Committee committed to exploring how to support community protocols in CBD-related negotiations, including within the Working Group on ABS.

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