Not only the climate but the Earth as a whole is Changing
Under earth changing context, the water is getting more importance in all aspects. Due to many reasons, the consumption of water is ever increasing and the recharging sources are depleting.
High water costs
High input/output agriculture is engulfing immense amount of water per unit produce. Can you imagine, that sometimes (depend on weather and production system) the water consumption/kg milk is more than 800 liters of water?
Turning to the Future and People Intelligence
We should look for the alternatives, turning to the people wisdom, the communities had been practicing since ages. The small scaled and people’s agriculture can be one of the solutions.
Maalem is a camel pastoralist in Kenya and she is thankful for camel as this precious animal ensures livelihood in the climatic calamities of the region.
Bone-dry plains roasted by a relentless equatorial sun. At first glance, there’s little to be found in the fields near Isiolo, a provincial town about five hours’ drive north of the capital, Nairobi. But Mariam Maalim’s camels still manage to find something to eat. They nibble at arid bushes, while the wooden bells around their necks tinkle softly.Kenyans turn to camels to cope with climate change
Camels survive two weeks without water
“My husband and I had a hundred cattle until 2005. But as the climate became drier in this region, the cows stopped producing milk, and twenty to thirty of our cows even died every year,” says 45-year-old Maalim, dressed in a blue hijab. “This made us decide to shift to camels as they survive without water for over two weeks. They continue to give milk, and although they become weak and skinny, they won’t die.”
The theme and the venue of the workshop are in the ensuing lines. Australian Camel Export Development in the Gulf States Intercontinental Festival City Dubai, Dubai Festival City January 30, 2017.
The presence of so many participants from different countries of the region gave me immense pleasure as the camel is getting its due importance at different levels. The participants from Oman, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia participated in the workshop.
There was a wide and deep discussion on the role of camel genetic resources in the food security under changing climate change scenario. The author presented a talk on the potential role of a camel in milk production. The milk production potential was presented with the help of the daily and lactation yield curves and the challenges of the camel dairying were chalked out in the meanwhile. The author was very optimistic and viewed that the camel introduced in the Australian continent was a reason to ensure food security in this part of the world.
This was a unique opportunity to strengthen communication between 2 regions with the reference of camels. The universities, research institutions, camel dairy farms like camelait Camelait! Al Ain Camel Dairy Products and many camel farmers were connected at the occasion of this precious one day workshop.
For me, it was a great pleasure seeing the Australian government and the organizations are now looking to find ways for the utilization of Australian camels instead of mass killings. I was one of the strongest voice at the global level to halt this mass killing of precious camels.
The main suggestion of the workshop was to find ways for sustainable utilization of the Australian camel genetic resource in food security under the climate change scenario.
A Case Study of Local Ghaf Tree in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Prosopis cineraria, commonly known as the Ghaf tree, is widely regarded as the national tree of the UAE. The Ghaf is one of the best examples of resilience and sustainability. Sustainability is one of the critical issues in the present arena, where human activities are threatening the earth health. One of the easiest and effective tools of sustainability is the native genetic resources for food, agriculture and human well being Local trees come to life in the UAE.
To make the subject easily understandable, I hereby give the example of this type of native Ghaf tree, which does not need any water and other special care but remains fresh and happy. Not only a rich source of nutritious feed for animals but provides an ecosystem to other floral and faunal genetic resources. Along with the other specialties, Ghaf provides the solution to difficult health ailments and the local communities had been using it as health agent since ages. Water-soluble extract of the residue from the methanol extract of the stem bark exhibits anti-inflammatory properties. For details please click on the link Medicinal uses.
I hereby suggest using the native genetic resources as a tool to sustain life on the earth is the best choice we have.
Ghab leaves and shoots are highly liked by the camels and goats. It has other valuable uses too.
The rubbish and plastic are thrown in the desert (mostly desert safaris) is a great threat to this precious tree. Let us open our eyes and stop throwing rubbish in the desert.
According to the camel keepers, the camel is the most intelligent animal. I have visited and traveled with camel herders in different parts of the world. Assessing the potential of the indigenous livestock breeds of Baluchistan. I have been asking this question very often, the answer was always yes ‘they are very intelligent’. They learn very quickly. They understand commands of the owner.
I hope someone will work on this side of camel too, to understand the exact potential and intelligence of camel.
The Arabica coffee plant, the source of all bushes on coffee farms, is expected to go extinct within the next century. Researchers from the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, recently found that global warming is having disastrous effects on the plant. The “bioclimatically suitable localities” (places where the plant can grow) are decreasing like crazy. Within just a few years, the places that are sufficient for wild coffee growth are expected to decrease anywhere from 65-100 percent.
The beautiful series of World Camel’s Day (WCD) is continue. The recent updates are received by Hannah Purss from Australia. She is telling about her camel journey and the milking camels of Australia. Here is her article in the ensuing lines.
“I was first introduced to camels when I was working in Central Australia, a hot, semi-arid region of the country. As I learnt about the valuable contribution camels made to Australia’s development, and the current wild population in the Australian deserts I realized what a valuable, yet wasted, commodity we have here. Dromedary camels do not roam free in other countries as they do in Australia, we are the only country that is yet to recognize their value. Here in Australia, wild camels are said to be in numbers above 300,000. Most farmers and landholders that have access to wild camel populations view them as a pest, are uninterested in camels or are unsure of how to work with them.
In 2014, Evan Casey and I founded Australian Camel Solutions Pty Ltd, a company that is based on solid and progressive camel handling and the development of the camel industry in Australia.
In Queensland, in Australia’s east, we have co-founded The Australian Wild Camel Corporation Pty Limited, a commercial scale camel dairy company. Being on the east coast of Australia means we can be closely linked with universities, academics and various dairy, camelid and veterinary experts.
We have been in operation for around six months now. We are having the most remarkable experience putting our theories and plans into practice, and as a team we are learning more each day.
Currently we are milking over 50 camels and as we move into Australian calving season, we hope to increase that number rapidly. The training program we use to bring camels from completely wild and out of the desert into our milking herd was developed by our company, Australian Camel Solutions, and is based on body language and the communication methods we’ve picked up from the camels themselves. In our dairy training program, we don’t use ropes or restraints on the animals which has helped us tremendously in the speed we can train them, and in keeping their stress levels down during the process. On farm, we have a vibrant, young team and it is especially exciting for me to see them growing in their camel handling skills and their passion for the industry. At TAWCC, we are passionate about fostering a supportive and progressive camel community.
We have been conducting lots of product development – from fresh milk, to ice cream, yogurt and more. Our milk is currently being used to produce our own brand of camel milk soaps and skincare products. The skincare products are currently available only in selected stores, but very soon we will have them more readily available in Australian stores, online and hopefully around the world.
As a series of world camel’s day endorsement from all over the world, I have received this piece of information from the head of the Dromacity France. She (Fra) is very vibrant and energetic and supporting camels her best at all levels. ” France is discovering camels (small and big) and the government is currently thinking about how to identify and take inventory of those animals. Non-endemic in France, camels are always imported and it is usually done without any tractability. The government wants to order animals’ marking in order to limit health risks linked to the introduction (sometimes by mafia) of those animals classified as ‘exotic’ so ‘unusual’ by French customs services.
Dromacity participates to Ministry’s workshop which aims to create a common database for camels’ owners and holders. Today, almost only vets worked on the legislative text whereas they have only a few experiences with those animals. DromaSud will be appointed by the Ministry to bring their knowledge and share their experience with vets, in order to help them know how to approach camels (less fear for small camels as llamas or alpacas).
In France, camels owners are rarely professionals (vets or farmers) but are usually fans who own few animals and never herds. Nevertheless, they have a major demand, claimed also by DromaCity: change the classification for camels, from ‘exotic’ to ‘livestock’ as horses. This change would allow free importation of animals selected by the buyer and will limit expensive sells managed by sellers who owns non-healthy animals (diseases, physical and/or psychological defects).
We hope that French government will change its mind on this law and open its borders to our favorite animals: Camel!
This the fight we are leading!
What is said in the law:
Camels’ owners and holders must now register their animals in the common database.
Holders have to mention the place where they hold the animal, and owners have to ensure the follow-up of ownership.
Moreover, registration of the identification of camels being in France has to be done by the person doing the identification: the owner in case of the auricular mark or the vet in case of the subcutaneous transponder.
eSIRECam database should be live in the second semester of 2016, camels owners will then have 1 year to be compliant with the law and register their animals.”
Among the camel’s world, the subcontinent is the region where the day starts first. It is 22nd June in the subcontinent, so I can safely say Happy Camel’s Day. At the occasion of WCD, I started the series of articles based on the documents/material sent from different corners of the world. As my own share, I want to express my views on the role of the camel as a farm animal in NENA region.
Near East and North Africa (NENA) is one of the driest and challenging landscapes on the face of the earth. The major percentage of the global deserted lands fall in this region, making it a hostile ecosystem for many other livestock species. Nature blessed the region with the highly adapted and unique livestock species “the Camel”, well said as Ataullah in Arabic.
As mentioned in the holy book Quran “do they do not look at camel; how strange it is created?” the camel is the animal of unique characteristics’ making it the most valuable creature of the drylands. The people living in this region, especially the camel herders and pastoralists depend on the camels for food, accessibility, and other livelihoods. Camel produces milk in very high ambient temperatures and other climatic challenges, in the same environment, other livestock species are hard to survive. Camel is not in competition with any other livestock as camel browse on very woody and bushy vegetation.
In the climate change scenario and fragile security (in some parts of Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and Syria) camel is the animal of choice to provide precious food items as milk (primary product) and meat to ensure the survival of the people. Camel farming needs very low input making it a sustainable profession.
Based on my experience and scientific findings, I can say that camel is the most sustainable farm animal in the region. The cow model (cow dairies) is not sustainable in such a hostile ecosystem and the milk produced is very expensive if calculated in the ecosystem model as the cow needs many times more water to produce one liter of milk. The camel tolerates very high ambient temperatures, on a contrary, the cow needs a cooling system (using fossil oil) to produce milk in the same situation.
The quality of camel milk is very appreciating than that of cow milk. Free of allergen protein, intolerant lactose and low in the saturated long chain, fats making the camel milk the best choice for health sensitive people. The region needs to ensure joint efforts for making policies regarding the food and agriculture and keep the camel on top priority as an animal of food security in climate change scenario.
The organization “Camels4Life” which is an advocacy group supporting camel’s cause, is always willing to support both governments and NGOs for finding ways to use a camel as a sustainable farm animal contrast to its old vision of beast of the burden.
As a series of World Camel’s Day gifts (information, pictures and videos etc) is continue, this new report is hereby received from Dr Mahnaz Salehi. She is the member of scientific board of Animal Science Research Institute Animal fibers, skin and leather camel management specialist. Her report was converted and amended briefly. Here is the report about the camel status in Iran.
The camels of Iran
Nearly 150,000 Dromedary camels are lived in desert areas (South and Central) of Iran; the majority of country’s camel is dromedary. Most of these camels still not been identified, because for extensive rearing system and release of camels in most parts of the country. The other factor is camels are often mixed together and crossbreed by the other foreign camel from Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Therefore they are divided into dual and multi-purpose (meat-milk and wool-meat); milk type and riding camel. The major breeds contained as followed:
Dual purpose camels:
Balochi camels in central, east and south east at the border lines of Afghanistan and Pakistan. This breed is known as Kharani breed in Balochistan and very good in milk production.
Kalkuei camel found in central parts of Iran.
Zahedani camel in south east at the border lines of Pakistan. This camel is also found in Pakistani Balochistan.
Mahabadi camel is found in Esfahan province in central Iran
Dashti camel, their origin is in Boushher province (south of Iran) near the Persian Gulf
Arabi camel found in Kozestan and Boushher provinces near the Iraq boarder
Yazdi camel found in central of country in yazd province.
The milk type camel
Turkamani, raising in Gonbad and Gorlestan province in North East of Iran. This camel is widely use by pastoral people.
The Bandari camel breed is found in south at the coastal line of Persian Gulf
These camels are divided into two branches, riding (Jamaz camels) and pack camels. Their origin is south or south east of Iran near the Pakistan boards and their number are reducing gradually.
Jamaz of Sistan and Baluchestan camel found in south-east along the border lines of Pakistan. This breed is also found in Pakistani Balochistan.
Roodbari camel and the other type of camel from Kerman province in south. This breed also found in the adjoining areas of Pakistani Balochistan.
Bactrian (two hump) camels
Now there are only about 200 Bactrian camels in Ardabil and Moghan (North West of country) and due to its small population, this breed is enlisted as an endangered species
Unfortunately there are very few specimen left to exist. This breed is near to extinction.
There are also around 1000 crossbreed camel for benefit hetrosis in central regions.
There are also around 1000 crossbreed camel for benefit hetrosis in central regions.
No doubt, rural chicken is playing pivotal in the socio-economic, socio-cultural and food security chapters of the rural and remote regions of the world. The chicken model for rural micro-development and poverty reduction is always appreciated and accepted globally. Bill Gates has rightly chosen this special small creature to help the rural poor of Africa. I hereby share my experience so for in this field and comment in the ensuing lines.
For several years, I worked with the projects like that (Bill Gates launches chicken plan to help Africa poor) in rural areas of Pakistan, especially Balochistan. I’m the witness of many projects; given livestock heads to the rural poor to achieve the objectives as following.
Provision of rich/important sources of food (protein, minerals and vitamins) for the family use, like milk, egg and meat etc. This part is especially important for the children and women
To get rid from severe poverty as small set of livestock has the capability to help in getting out from the extreme poverty. The families with such set of livestock can manage schooling for their children, also give the purchasing power for daily necessary items.
To support women health as livestock is main owned/managed by women especially chicken, goat, buffalo and cow etc. Women gets power to purchase her daily use items for her-selves and her kids.
But there are some main challenges like;
A.Neglecting the Importance of the Native Chicken/Livestock breeds
Introduction of animal genetic resources from other region (like mountainous breed in low land, etc), even if they were from the same country, resulted in many diverse outcomes. Also, new animals can bring new diseases. During my experience with such project, we could not find the animals given next year. This challenge/mistake leads to many other sad outcomes like dilution/adulteration of local breeds, weakening of the resilience of the communities to the climate change and food security challenge. So I recommend to provide local breed of chicken only.
B. Selection of the deserving people
Some people just like to have free lunch and they will dine such precious project in the first quarter of its life. I have seen such situation in a sheep project.
C. Monitoring of the project
Such projects need proper and contentious monitoring for at least 3 years with proper data recording and keeping bird eye on pros and cons of the development process.
D. Provision of the appropriate set
Provision of a set of chickens which makes sense. The set of five chicken is too small to support a family. The set of animals perform very important role. The chicken set of 10:1 (F:M) will have more chances of success than smaller size of 5 chicken only.
E. Provision of vet. cover
Provision of continuous veterinary cover can assure the success of the project, especially vaccination against the epidemic diseases. Some diseases outbreaks are very specific to certain regions. (I would never recommend provision of feed for the livestock as a charity.
F. Publication of the outcomes
The data achieved must process and the outcomes of the project must publish for the public use. This huge project will lay guidelines for such projects in the future.
Further reading about the importance of the native chicken;
The word ‘Defaunation‘ is a merely new term used by scientists in a recent article published in the Journal Nature Communications. According to the team of scientists ” large animals important for the carbon storage in tropical forests. Defaunation is used for the declination of the fauna from the forests.
“Scientists are only just beginning to understand the numerous ways in which animals affect the carbon cycle of tropical forests, and the consequences of declines of these animals – also termed ‘defaunation’ – for terrestrial carbon storage “, says Anand M Osuri, a member of Mahesh Sankaran’s group at NCBS and the study’s lead author. “Although defaunation is a problem affecting tropical forests the world over, our understanding of its consequences for carbon storage relies heavily on patterns seen in one part of the tropics – the forests of South America”, he adds.
The link of the study is given below for further reading and detailed study. http://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/study-says-large-animals-important-for-carbon-storage-in-tropical-forests-53769
In short ‘global decline in the population of several wild animal species is among the most widespread drivers of Earth’s biodiversity crisis. The study highlights the importance of conserving large wild animals in the tropical forests as part of forest protection strategy for storing carbon and reducing emissions. This will ultimately help us to mitigate climate change.
Thank God, my dream came true as; specially engineered camel DNA (revealed in a recent study) makes this unique animal a solution to climate change and other challenges. The study ( the author was part of it) published in PNAS with full access here. a day before. The authors have ensured that the remarkable story over its long and celebrated history stands out like a scientific beacon. Without the camel, Arabian trade, medieval conquests, and recent communication routes would all have collapsed, changing the course of events for human civilizations as well as that incredible diversity among the camel gene pools of Asia, Africa, and even Australia.
A unique and pioneering study of the ancient and modern DNA of the ‘ship of the desert’ the single-humped camel or dromedary has shed new light on how its use by human societies has shaped its genetic diversity. DNA Sequencing Reveals Human Desert Migrations Shaped Camel Genetics.
Dromedaries have been fundamental to the development of human societies, providing food and transport in desert countries, for over 3,000 years. The dromedary continues to be vital for livelihood, food, and recreations where other species would not survive. In the current context of climate change and advancing desert landscapes, the animal’s importance is increasing and there is new interest in the biology and reproduction of the species.
In my opinion “genetic mixing and re-mixing engineered special DNA (camels) as; by constantly mixing the populations, the camels are now very genetically diverse which makes them more resilient to climate change. As predicted by the climate scientists, the mercury will go up with the passage of years, the camels will be the best choice among the others for food security and sustainable farming systems.
The study suggests that the wild camels, which are now extinct, periodically helped restock domesticated populations. Unlike many other domesticated animals, modern camel populations have maintained their ancestral genetic diversity, potentially enabling adaptation to future changes in terrain and climate, according to the authors.
For more general articles the links are given in the ensuing lines. The links are referred in the article also.
The climate change is reality now. Almost major part of the societies are agreed that climate change is happening and the agriculture system will suffer further. The floods, erratic or no rainfall, desertification etc. have adversely affected (and continue even with the faster pace) to alter agriculture production potential of arable farming and livestock productions system.
The neutral zones of thermoregulation in animals are very challenging and heat intolerance, especially in exotic high producing animals is a catastrophic. The food security is a real challenge and many parts of the world (in one or other farm) is facing hunger and malnutrition.
But there are good and potential tools we have to adapt with the higher/lower temperatures and produce in very low input production systems; they are the native animals and plants genetic resources. Unfortunately, their role is seldom value and addressed accordingly which results in development faulty policies regarding food and agriculture. The keepers of the native breeds are void of a strong voice and are seldom heard by policy makers while formulating policies regarding the genetic resources and food security.
This situation is very complex and challenging. Many of the gene keepers (herders) are giving up their profession. Their historic lands for natural are either grabbed by the influential persons or secured from grazing at the name of nature conservation. One of the very alarming example is from the camel breeders of Rajastan India. The camel is really sinking and the population have gone down manifolds in last 3 decade.
The same is the situation in the Thal and Thar desert of Pakistan. The time has reached to reconsider the existing policies regarding food and agriculture and give proper place and task to the native gene and its keeper to beat the challenge of food security in clime change context.
Hot off the press!
A new analysis issued by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) shows that 2015 – the hottest year on record – confirmed that weather and climate-related disasters now dominate disaster trends linked to natural hazards.
The analysis found that 98.6 million people were affected by disasters in 2015, and that climate – often aided by a strong El Niño phenomenon – was a factor in 92 per cent of those events.
2015 disaster facts and figures vs 2005-2014 averages
32 major droughts recorded last year compared to an annual average of 15 over the previous decade.
Droughts affected 50.5 million people, well above the ten year average of 35.4 million.
Floods were in second place last year when 152 floods affected 27.5 million people and claimed 3,310 lives. This compares with the ten year average of 5,938 deaths and 85.1 million people affected.
Floods in India last year affected 16.4 million people.
Rising sea levels and sea surface temperatures were factors in a very active cyclone season in Asia and the Pacific which saw 37 cyclones and typhoons. Globally, there were:
90 reported storms resulting in 996 deaths and affecting 10.6 million people. This compares with a ten year average of 17,778 deaths and 34.9 million people affected.
2015 was the hottest year on record and this contributed to a major loss of life from heatwaves, including a combined total of 7346 deaths: in France (3,275), India (2,248) and Pakistan (1,229).
Overall, 7,346 deaths were recorded and 1.2 million people were affected by extreme temperatures in 2015.
This compares with the ten year average of 7,232 deaths and 8.7 million affected.
Other statistics from 2015:
earthquakes and tsunamis killed 9,525 people (including Nepal) and affected 7.2 million;
landslides triggered by heavy rains, killed 1,369 people and affected 50,332;
wildfires took 66 lives and affected almost 495,000 people.
Drought affects Africa more than any other continent, with EM-DAT recording 136 events there between 1995 and 2015 (some41% of the global total), including 77 droughts in East Africa alone.
Since the first UN climate change conference (COP1) in 1995, 606,000 lives have been lost and 4.1 billion people have been injured, left homeless or in need of emergency assistance as a result of weather-related disasters.
Urbanization has significantly increased flood run-offs, while recurrent flooding of agricultural and, particularly in Asia, has taken a heavy toll in terms of lost production, food shortages and rural under-nutrition.
Reducing the size of drought-vulnerable populations should be a global priority over the next decade; better accounting systems for indirect deaths from drought are also required; these should be linked to early warning systems and response mechanisms in order to monitor the impacts of drought more comprehensively. Learn more from the International Disaster Database EM DAT