Home Animal Husbandry Heroes of deserts and highlands: How camels are important for livelihoods
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Heroes of deserts and highlands: How camels are important for livelihoods

Kachchi and Kharai camel
Camel Pic

New Delhi. The United Nations declared 2024 the International Year of Camelids (IYC 2024). The Year will highlight how camelids are key to the livelihoods of millions of households in hostile environments across over 90 countries, particularly Indigenous Peoples and local communities. From alpacas to Bactrian camels, dromedaries, guanacos, llamas, and vicuñas, camelids contribute to food security, nutrition and economic growth as well as holding a strong cultural and social significance for communities across the world.

Camelids play an important role in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to the fight against hunger, the eradication of extreme poverty, the empowerment of women and the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems. From providing milk, meat and fiber for communities to transport for products and people, and organic fertilizer, camelids thrive where other livestock species cannot survive.

Camelids play a key role in the culture, economy, food security and livelihoods of communities in Andean highlands and in the arid and semi-arid lands in Africa and Asia, including Indigenous Peoples. Even in extreme climatic conditions they continue to produce fibre and nutritious food. Indeed, the International Year of Camelids presents a unique opportunity to raise awareness of the role of camelids in building resilience to climate change – particularly in mountains and arid and semi-arid lands.

The International Year of Camelids 2024 aims to build awareness of the untapped potential of camelids and to call for increased investment in the camelid sector, advocating for greater research, capacity development and the use of innovative practices and technologies.

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