(BONN, 12 October 2020) – Over half a billion people in developing countries depend to some extent on farm animals for their livelihoods. Animal-sourced food also plays an important role in nutrition, through providing readily-available proteins and micronutrients. But animal agriculture is also implicated in global environmental challenges such as deforestation and climate change—and pressing contemporary health issues such as the emergence of zoonotic diseases.
That’s why, if humanity is to achieve the sustainable and low-emission development aspirations of Agenda 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement, it will be important to leverage the potential of livestock to help address food security, health and poverty challenges—while impacting more lightly on the landscapes in which they live.
In this context, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) has stepped up its relationship with the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) by becoming a GLF Charter Member. ILRI is is co-hosted by Kenya and Ethiopia, with a number of offices across Africa and Asia, and the organization works to secure better lives through livestock in developing countries.
‘This new ILRI-GLF partnership—coming at this moment when humanity is crossing planetary boundaries while tackling both climate change and a global pandemic—is particularly opportune’, says Jimmy Smith, ILRI’s director general.
‘The health of peoples, animals and landscapes is inextricably linked’, he added. ‘Only by adopting a “One Health” approach, which unites these three components, will we ensure the health of each, thereby stopping the spread of deadly zoonotic diseases and sustaining landscapes. ILRI looks forward to working with GLF to ensure that sustainable livestock systems are part of the solutions for a healthy planet.’
At the upcoming GLF Biodiversity Digital Conference on 28-29 October, ILRI will host an interactive panel on 28 October at 09:00 CET on just this topic, using tangible case studies and participatory processes to explore how to enact such integrated ‘One Health’ approaches within landscapes—and how investment solutions might be leveraged to scale these up.
In becoming a Charter Member, ILRI joins 30 of the world’s leading development, environmental, farmer, rights and research organizations, who have signed the GLF Charter and are committed to the vision of advancing, mainstreaming and implementing the ‘Landscape Approach’ to building landscapes that are productive, prosperous, equitable and resilient.
‘Pastoral landscapes are as fascinating and diverse as they are crucial to the livelihoods and health of tens of millions across Africa’, said GLF Managing Director John Colmey. ‘It is also one of the core landscapes of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. ILRI’s research and experience in sustainably managing these areas, and their contribution to the Global Landscapes Forum, will be invaluable.’