Saturday, 13 October 2012

COP 11 biodiversity: Deccani breed sheep is on the brink of extinction, says Sagari R Ramdas of Anthra

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: The Deccani breed of sheep is under threat of
extinction and city conservationists emphasise the need for its
protection.

Coinciding with the 11th Conference of Parties to the United Nations
Convention on Biological Diversity being held here, the Unni Sangham
and Anthra are holding a fair on the Deccani breed of sheep - Gonged
Exhibition 2012.

The Deccani breed of sheep, which is under threat in its home region
Telangana, can only be saved if the governments stop their policies
and economic investments, which are facilitating land grabs, real
estate and development that is destroying the life, and livelihoods of
people, points out Sagari R Ramdas of Anthra.

Shepherds and farming communities are struggling for the survival of
their sheep and associated wool craft, through fighting to stop the
take over of their lands by real estate, the threat of Foreign Direct
Investment, sand mining of lakes, and privatization of health
services. “The government is doing lip-service at COP 1, whilst
turning a blind eye to the people who are protecting the diversity”.

The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing is crafted for
corporations. Communities demand access to the land, and resources,
wherein lies the diversity, and derive multiple livelihood benefits
from the genetic diversity, such as the Deccani sheep in the form of
wool for the Gongadi, meat, manure and milk, Sagari Ramdas said.

The Deccani sheep breed is being conserved by shepherds who live only
100 km out of Hyderabad. The exhibition, which opened on Thursday,
will remain open until October 16. It is to celebrate the diversity of
Telangana, and to voice the concerns of shepherds.

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