The livestock sector accepts the challenge of the UN Agenda 2030

More than 170 stakeholders of the livestock sector met in Panama on 20-23 June 2016 for the 6th multi-stakeholder partnership meeting (MSP) of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock.

During the meeting, partners from a wide range of stakeholder groups: governments, civil society organizations, private sector, donors, research/academia, NGOs, inter-governmental and multi-lateral organizations; reviewed the contribution of livestock to the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN Agenda 2030, a set of 17 aspirational objectives agreed by 193 member states to guide decisions of government for the next 15 years.

The challenge of sustainable development

Livestock is directly or indirectly linked to all 17 SDGs and faces many challenges to achieve sustainability while responding to an important increase in demand for animal products. Addressing these challenges means to adopt an inclusive, efficient and healthy approach.

Inclusive. Many depend on livestock for a living, including for jobs provided in the value chain. Livestock are the main source of livelihood for hundreds of millions of rural poor, including a large share of women. Farm animals provide income and assets, increase agricultural productivity and market participation.Livestock can contribute to reduce inequalities but also have a high rate of child labour and occupational hazards.

Promoting an inclusive approach means to enhance the role of livestock in poverty and inequalities alleviation while protecting the most vulnerable people and ensuring responsible consumption and production. 

Efficient. Livestock consume a large share of natural resources - land, water, nutrients and energy - and contribute to climate change. While resources are becoming scarce and greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced, the sector has a large mitigation potential through gains in efficiency, using existing practices and technologies. 

Healthy. A source of quality protein and energy, but also essential micronutrients, animal products are key to food security and nutrition, as well as good health and wellbeing, especially for children and women, and the elderly. However, livestock diseases are also a threat to human health and production can cause sanitation issues, through discharge of animal manure for example. 

Large opportunities exist in the livestock sector

During the meeting, opportunities were identified and discussed by partners. For example, closing the efficiency gap in livestock production systems can contribute to produce more with less while improving farmers’ income. The efficiency matrix developed by the Agenda’s partners is being applied in pilot projects in different regions.

Grazing systems have an important role to play in protecting resources such as land, water and biodiversity while contributing to carbon sequestration and conflicts alleviation. A database of 17 grassland pilot projects was developed for Agenda partners and identify opportunities and potential for upscaling.

Commitments

The third day of the meeting was dedicated to a regional focus on Latin America and high level regional policy forum was held with the participation of several ministers and member of parliaments of the regions. After discussing regional policies, production systems and investment issues, countries reaffirmed the importance of livestock for the region and their commitment to a sustainable development of the sector.

The multi-stakeholder partnership adopted the Panama declaration recognizing the important contribution of the sector to the UN Agenda 2030 and the need for concerted action and for an agreement to work towards policy reforms, institutional development and investments for sustaining practice change in livestock.

With this declaration, partners of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock accepted the challenges of sustainable development and showed determination and willingness to engage.

During the MSP, 14 additional organizations joined the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock.

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6th Multi-stakeholder Partnership (MSP) Meeting

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