1. Develop harmonized tools (protocols) for characterization and inventory of AnGR
Following consultations with stakeholders though an e-discussion and experts workshops, establishment of suitable characterization, inventory and monitoring tools for use within the continent, an Animal Genetic Resources Taxonomy Advisory Group (AnGR-TAG) was established and conducted the revision of existing tools to ensure suitability to African conditions and development of revised tools guidelines for characterization, inventory and monitoring. The piloting of the revised tools to test their efficiency, practicability and adaptability has been initiated in 15 selected countries from all the regions of Africa.
2. Establishment of AnGR database
A module on animal genetic resources has been created in ARIS2 and will be known as the African Animal Genetic Resources Information System (AAGRIS). To engender wide ownership and utilization of AAGRIS and to enhance its design and functionality, a comprehensive needs assessment on AnGR data and information requirements by various stakeholders was undertaken and priority data and information needs identified. Six core data and information categories were identified including; Species and breeds, Inventory and monitoring, Conservation and breed improvement programmes, Capacity development, AnGR Institutions and News trends. The proposed structure of the module has been developed and is a combination of a data collection and web portal systems with linkages to already existing information systems such as DAD-IS and DAGRIS.
3. Establish and strengthen national and regional systems for monitoring of trends of breeds and associated risks
The project working in collaboration with experts from all the regions of Africa is developing tools for characterization, inventory and monitoring of trends and associated risks. The piloting of the tool is planned in 15 countries and once the tool has been validated, systems for monitoring of trends will be developed and utilized by key stakeholders, including Member States, livestock keepers, universities and researchers.
4. Develop regional networks for information sharing
Consultations were conducted with partners to promote synergies and a platform for communication and building partnerships for the management of AnGR.
As part of networking initiatives, the establishment of the regional DAD-Net for the five Sub-Regional Focal Points has been finalized. To-date DAD-Net West Africa, DAD-Net Central Africa, DAD-Net Eastern Africa, DAD-Net Northern Africa and DAD-Net Southern Africa are operational under the moderation of the Secretariats of the different Sub-Regional Focal Points and AU-IBAR.
5. Establish or strengthen regional focal points for animal genetic resources
Working in close collaboration with Member States and RECs, the Sub-Regional Focal Points (S-RFPs) for AnGR in Southern and Eastern Africa were established.
S-RFPs for West, Central and Northern Africa were established through the organisation of General Assemblies and establishment of Steering committees in these regions. As part of the financial support to be provided to the S-RFPs, a strategy including modalities, criteria, budget and process was agreed to.
The S-RFPs together with the project ensured that Africa adopted a united approach with common positions during the Eighth Session of the Inter-governmental Technical Working Group (ITWG) and the Global National Coordinator’s Workshop on AnGR in November 2014 in Rome, Italy. This was highly commended by FAO and other participants to the Session.
6. Document and disseminate best practices and lessons learnt from animal genetic conservation and improvement initiatives
The project has actively disseminated information through the AU-IBAR and partners’ websites, African DAD-Nets and international workshops.
The project has launched the publication of a Special December 2015 Edition of the Bulletin of Animal Health and Production in Africa (BAHPA) to commemorate and highlight the importance of animal genetic resources in Africa. So far 40 Abstracts of original work on topics related to animal genetic resources in Africa have been received.