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International cooperation Livestock

The diversity of Animal genetic resources is globally threatened. Germany engages even on international level for the conservation and sustainable use of Animal Genetic Resources.

International cooperation

Milk goats (Source: BLE)

The International Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) also aims at the conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources for food and agriculture and includes the diversity of livestock breeds. Article 3 of this Convention provides that states have the sovereign right over their genetic resources. This also entails national responsibility for their conservation.

The Food and Agriculture Organization FAO and its Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA) should also be mentioned in particular. In 2007, the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources (GPA on AnGR) was adopted. The Intergovernmental Technical Working Group on Animal Genetic Resources (ITWG-AnGR) is a working group of the CGRFA concerned with the diversity of livestock breeds.

The national measures are integrated into international processes. For example, TGRDEU collects annual data on livestock breeds bred in Germany and makes them available to international databases. These include the European Farm Animal Biodiversity Information System (EFABIS) and the DAD-IS (Domestic Animal Diversity Information System), a global database for livestock breeds managed by the FAO. In addition, information within the framework of the EU zoo-technical legislation is also published.

In 2016, the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and corresponding indicators. Sustainability Development Goal 2.5 concerns the conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources for food and agriculture. The indicators adopted for this objective include, inter alia, population sizes and cryo-material, particularly semen, per breed of farm animal. At European and global level, the EFABIS and DAD-IS databases will provide the necessary data.

Cooperation in the European Regional Focal Point (ERFP) provides a further international connection. In addition to the National Coordinator for Animal Genetic Resources appointed to the FAO, other German representatives are also represented in the ERFP Working Groups. The Working Group Documentation and Information discusses the further development and improvement of the EFABIS database. The European Gene Bank Network for Livestock Breeds, EUGENA, is the subject of the Working Group Ex situ Conservation. The Working Group In-situ Conservation deals i. a. with the promotion of endangered livestock breeds and is headed by the IBV.


Holger Göderz
+49 (0) 228 / 6845-3370

Lisa Balzar
+49 (0) 228 / 6845-3671

Federal Office for Agriculture
and Food
Unit 331
Deichmanns Aue 29
D-53179 Bonn