Current Programmes and Projects


Strategic Programme 2 : Animal Resource Production Systems and Ecosystem Management

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To strengthen animal resource production systems, improve management of animal resources and promote sustainable ecosystem management.

The Context

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'.

Key Results Areas

1. Sustainable utilization, management and conservation of animal resources and their ecosystems enhanced

This result will contribute to the formulation and establishment of regional and continent-wide strategic frameworks and cooperation arrangements that will ensure judicious utilization, management and conservation of Africa's animal resources and their ecosystems. This result will be achieved through:

  • Understanding the current policy landscape (current policies, stages of implementation and implementation constraints, policy gaps and potential partners in policy work) relevant for animal resources development;
  • Formulating continental policy frameworks and strategies for livestock, fisheries and aquaculture and wildlife management and supporting MSs and RECs to align national policies and strategies with continental frameworks;
  • Strengthening the capacity of MSs to domesticate and implement continental and international policy instruments, and other best practices relevant to animal resources development, into effective national policies, strategies and programmes. This will include the AU Pastoral Policy Framework and other frameworks for animal resources management, including the Africa-wide Fisheries Policy Framework and Reform Strategy.
  • Formulating frameworks to guide the utilisation of feed additives and genetic manipulation in animal feed, as well as movement of genetic materials and control of diseases in terrestrial and aquatic systems.
  • Strengthening and supporting the establishment of relevant networks for generation and utilization of evidence for policy formulation.
  • Developing and supporting implementation of the regional and continental strategies, action plans and legislative frameworks on conservation and utilization, in the framework of the Global Plan of Action.
  • Developing guidelines and building capacity, for implementing conservation/management measures as contained in the prospective Pan-African Fisheries Policy Framework and Reform Strategy, such as the establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPA), the application of Territorial Use Right Fisheries (TURF)/Rights-based Fisheries Management (RBM, the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF), the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries and Aquaculture (EAF and EAA) as well as eco-labelling.
  • Promoting mainstreaming diversification of livestock resources at the interface between mixed production ecosystems and protected areas through supporting sustainable land management systems for livestock and wildlife at the interface.
  • Promoting regional collaboration and cooperation in the management of shared and transboundary terrestrial and aquatic resources.

2. Animal resources production systems and ecosystem management strengthened

This will aim at the establishment of relevant strategies for the development of animal resources (livestock, non-conventional livestock, wildlife, apiculture, fisheries & aquaculture) and facilitate/support integration in the national agricultural investment plans.

This will be achieved through:

  • Strengthening capacity for best technological and environmental practices for sustainable animal resources development, including environmental impact assessment, identification of hotspots and effects of climate change on species.
  • Formulating strategies and building capacity to unlock the potential of major and emerging animal resources production systems.
  • Strengthening forecasting/horizon scanning abilities in the livestock sector, through increased understanding of the impact of climate fluctuations on provision of productive inputs (fodder and water), greater predictions of extreme weather events, and increased information exchange and overall awareness at all levels of the implications of these forecasts.
  • Strengthening capacities in forecasting methodologies/predictive analyses for sustainable fisheries and exploitation of aquatic resources. This would also include incorporating environmental randomness in particular for coastal, inland fisheries and aquaculture production systems and management plans.
  • Strengthening governance of natural resources, particularly the communal use areas, to create a more stable foundation for livestock sector resilience and biodiversity conservation.
  • Facilitating the scaling-up of the livestock index-based insurance initiatives.
  • Facilitating the implementation of the Livestock Emergency Guidelines (LEGs).
  • Formulating and facilitating the implementation of traceability and livestock identification systems adapted to different productions systems and regions of the continent.
  • Developing and facilitating implementation of animal recording systems to monitor productivity indexes of African animal resources.
  • Identifying and facilitating avenues for exploitation of opportunities for African livestock keepers to benefit from payments for ecological services.

3. Sustainable natural resources management practices promoted

Ecosystem degradation, caused by unsustainable management practices, is often a consequence of complex and unbalanced interactions between climate change, inappropriate resource management practices, policies and regulations, lack of enforcement and political dominance of groups or individuals.

Adoption of sustainable alternatives may ideally involve giving more control to local people or to those with traditional rights.

This result area will include:

  • Promoting/facilitating rangeland rehabilitation, water harvesting, recovering of depleted fish stocks, restoration of ecosystems including degraded terrestrial and aquatic habitats, biodiversity and landscape conservation, sustainable management of wildlife-livestock-human interface, conflict management, etc.
  • Supporting the development of national and regional action plans for combating IUU fishing in marine and inland fisheries consistent with FAO IPOA-IUU. This would also include support to the management of high seas fisheries (areas beyond national jurisdiction- ABNJ) for increased benefits to AU MSs.
  • Strengthening the capacity of AU MSs and regional fisheries bodies/RFMOs for the implementation of EAF in fisheries and an integrated approach in fisheries management, and aquatic agricultural systems.
  • Collating, packaging, disseminating and/or facilitating the testing and uptake of available best practices.
  • Coordinating trans-boundary natural resources management, for animal resources in particular, interventions and policies as well as supporting regional arrangements for exploitation of shared wildlife resources and fish stocks and highly migratory species.
  • Collating technical evidence for policies and catalysing the policy development process using AU-IBAR's convening and advocacy roles.
  • Building on the experiences and existing policy guidelines from the ALive platform and other networks and fast tracking the operationalization of the UNCCD Regional programme on Fodder and Range Management (TPN3).

Outcomes and Impacts

The successful delivery of this programme will realize the following:

  • Continental strategies and frameworks for sustainable utilization, management, and conservation improvement of animal resources implemented;
  • Developed strategies to promote sustainable production systems for animal resources, including livestock, fisheries and aquaculture and wildlife developed;
  • Effectively exploited opportunities for animal resources to bring livelihood benefits through payments for ecological services, including coral reefs in coastal habitats;
  • Strengthened capacity for the management and conservation for sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in AU MSs and regional bodies;
  • Formulated strategies for combating IUU fishing and fostering responsible fisheries and sustainable management practices for natural resources exploitation and utilization;
  • Encouraged adoption of the AU Policy Framework on Pastoralism;
  • Facilitated adoption and implementation of the Pan African Fisheries Policy Framework and Reform Strategy and
  • Built resilience for coping with and adaptation to climate change and other disasters amongst communities dependent on animal resources.