With the aim of assessing how exchange practices regarding Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (AnGR) affect the various stakeholders in the livestock sector and to identify policies and regulatory options that could guide the global exchange, use and conservation of AnGR, an exploration of future scenarios was used as a complementary approach to reviewing the current situation, as well as to identify stakeholders’ views on AnGR policy development.
Four 2050 future scenarios were developed and included:
1. Globalization and regionalization.
2. Biotechnology development.
3. Climate change and environmental degradation.
4. Diseases and disasters.
Having developed the scenarios, these were then used as an input point for a wide range of stakeholder consultations.
The findings show that such an approach has been a useful analytical tool. The ‘far’ future perspective appeared to make people less defensive, especially in a situation where current exchange problems were not yet particularly visible or well documented. Many interviewees broadly considered that it was not a question of ‘if’ the scenarios would happen, but rather a question of ‘when’. This implies that we might do well to consider the need to respond to future challenges through the proactive development of new policies or regulations. Such a finding is partly in contrast with the general perception of the current regulatory situation being broadly acceptable.