To strengthen animal resource production systems, improve management of animal resources and promote sustainable ecosystem management.
Increasing demand for animal-source foods (ASFs), the diminishing agricultural land in relation to the growing human population and the impact of climatic variability are, acting together, placing increased pressure on the natural resource base on which agricultural production depends. If not well managed, the inevitable intensification of livestock production, over-harvesting of fisheries resources, over-exploitation of wildlife biodiversity and consequential impacts on the resource base will increasingly lead to degradation of natural resource and ecosystem, including loss of critical genetic diversity and social equity.
Realization of the potential of animal resources is, however, heavily contingent upon realistic policies and legislation governing the management, exploitation and utilization of these renewable resources. The need to strengthen capacities in policy analysis, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation is therefore recognized as a key priority area for sustainable animal resources and socio-economic development in Africa. Sound and coherent policies as well as strengthened institutions with clearly defined functional partnerships are pre-requisites to sustainable production, exploitation and management of animal resources.
Open access or unregulated exploitation of animal resources , especially in case of small-scale fisheries, harvesting of bush meat and opportunistic use of communal land, create a recipe for over-fishing, over-hunting and over-grazing; and eventually will lead to a commonly quoted phenomenon labelled the 'tragedy of the commons'.
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