Local or rare farm animal breeds often have important cultural and environmental values. Valorisation of these values is important to support the conservation of farm animal genetic resources. This was concluded at the end of a successful seminar on June 29, 2015.
On June 29, 2015 Mrs. Tri Satya Mastuti Widi of the Animal Production Systems (APS) Group defended her thesis: “Mapping the impact of crossbreeding in smallholder cattle systems in Indonesia”. Before the official ceremony of the PhD defence, the Centre for Genetic Resources the Netherlands (CGN) of Wageningen UR organized a seminar with three presentations:
- Can cultural values of livestock save native breeds? The case of Madura cattle: Henk Udo (Animal Production Systems Group, Wageningen University)
- Valuing cultural aspects of native breeds: Gustavo Gandini (University of Milan)
Ecosystem Services Provided by Livestock Species and Breeds: Irene Hoffmann (Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations)
Henk Udo explained the cultural value of Madura cattle and the impact of crossbreeding on traditional breeds in Indonesia. The cultural value of Madura cattle is indeed reflected in the price of the cattle sold. Gustavo Gandini discussed the concept of cultural ecosystem services, illustrated by data of 10 Alpine goat breeds, where cultural values of breeds are clearly associated with specific and unique agro-ecosystems. Irene Hoffmann presented results of a global inventory of FAO on livestock as providers of a range of ecosystem services. She concluded that environmental and cultural values of livestock breeds are clearly undervalued and widespread, and showed the link between breed conservation, nature conservation and livelihoods in marginal areas. Research is needed to close the knowledge gaps and to show the linkages between livestock breeds and ecosystem services.