European Regional Focal Point for Animal Genetic Resources

Regional platform for the support of management, conservation and sustainable use of animal genetic resources

Why are they important

Animal genetic resources are the primary biological capital for livestock development, and are vital to food security and sustainable rural development. In order to meet production challenges in the future preserving animal genetic resources diversity is of huge importance (GPA, 2007). Animal genetic resources were developed for the use by humans and if they are no longer used, they become extinct. Not only farmer benefits from maintaining AnGR but also the wider public. The most important option or so called insurance value, emerges from conserving the breed for the future and enabling response to the future unpredicted events, like climate change and production environment change. The most important role is their capacity to produce food and other goods, while having the socio-cultural importance in many festivals, agricultural shows and other activities. The provision of the ecosystem services is provided through their garzing which influence different elements in ecosystem. Benefits of providing ecosystem services are often available to broader public not only farmers. Many local breeds posses characteristics which enables them to cope with different production system, often harsh environment, hot or cold climate, rough terrain or high elevations, which can only be manged by local breeds (FAO; 2015).