a At risk determined based on breeds with population data having <1000 breeding females or
<20 breeding males and for which there is no conservation program in place. b Includes mithan and banteng. c Includes cassowary, emu, and nandu.
Source:Adapted from FAO/UNEP (1995).
utilization does not provide the universal solution for conservation of domestic animal diversity. Nor is it essential to retain all breeds to ensure the ready availability of the breadth of domestic animal diversity. Systematic breed-level characterization of the genetic composition of species would make it possible to develop least-cost strategies for maintaining a maximum of genetic breadth within each species from a limited number of breeds.
Although semen and embryos of only a few of the endangered breeds are held in cryopreservation storage, where the technology has been developed, it appears to offer a viable alternative to live animal conservation when that is not feasible. The nature of cryopreservation of animal cells renders such storage very high risk without sample duplication.
The geographically dispersed nature of the resources and the need to involve a range of stakeholders nationally and internationally strongly suggest that a cost-effective Strategy must also incorporate efficient information-sharing systems. Modern data processing, storage, analysis, and communication technologies offer particularly important new potential for achieving this, and full advantage must be taken of these opportunities in developing the Strategy.
Many policy issues concerning the good management of animal genetic resources remain to be addressed, such as:
1. Ownership and sovereignty;
2. Access rights and sharing of benefits;
3. Facilitating use and development;
4. Roles of culture, gender, and indigenous knowledge;
5. Priorities for conservation of breed-level diversity;
6. Intellectual property rights;
7. Use of biotechnology in characterization, utilization, maintenance, and in research and training;
8. Biosafety concerning the use of modified organisms and alien genetic resources; and
9. Zoosanitary aspects of transport of resources for purposes of research, training, and commercial use.
Because of the transboundary and legal implications which these present, such issues must be dealt with by an intergovernmental mechanism; hence, the framework for the Strategy must provide for an intergovernmental mechanism.
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