The idea that the humble chicken could become a savior of wildlife will seem improbable to many environmentalists. But as the human population grows at a rate that rapidly outpaces the ability of natural habitats to feed it, a better backyard chicken could be a real hope for people and wildlife alike.
The following are excerpts of an opinion piece written by Monique Eloit, director general of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on ‘Keeping animals healthy can help keep people healthy too, and development on track’.
In 2016, the United Nations issued a report highlighting the centrality of the livestock sector to the food sector and the promotion of sustainable development. Driven by population and economic growth, particularly in Africa, demand for livestock products is expected to increase by about 70% in the coming 30 years. No longer constrained by weak domestic demand on the continent, the sector in Africa today still faces many challenges which require long-term planning, coordination and investment. The development and implementation of roadmaps for livestock sector in Africa have the capacity to drive sustained economic growth, inclusive social and human development, and an efficient use of natural resources.
The 7th multi-stakeholder partnership meeting of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock kicked off on Monday in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa. The four-day meeting, which attracted more than 250 livestock specialists from 50 countries, aims to strengthen the role of livestock in supporting livelihoods, producing safe food and protecting the environment. It focuses on demonstrating the positive contribution of livestock to the lives of hundreds of millions of people across the world, and fostering the sustainable development of the rapidly growing sector.
Appolinaire Djikeng has been appointed director of the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health, a partnership between the University of Edinburgh, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and ILRI.
ILRI and TechnoServe jointly convened a stakeholders’ workshop to deliberate on how best to achieve sustainable livestock services in extensive production systems in Africa.
‘Prof Eric Fèvre, a researcher of veterinary infectious diseases at the Institute of Infection and Global Health at the University of Liverpool and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi told the Business Daily the close interaction between people and animals worsened the situation.