The United Nations has officially declared 2024 as the International Year of Camelids (IYC 2024). This declaration highlights the significant role played by these animals in sustaining the livelihoods of millions of households, particularly Indigenous Peoples and local communities living in hostile environments. These animals are essential source of food security, nutrition, and economic growth, while also holding strong cultural and social significance for communities worldwide.
According to FAO, camelids, including llamas, alpacas, and camels, are crucial for achieving several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to food security, poverty alleviation, gender equality, and sustainable land use. These animals provide essential resources such as milk, meat, and fiber to communities, as well as transportation for both goods and people. Additionally, camelids can thrive in harsh environments where other livestock species cannot survive, and they also produce organic fertiliser, making them an essential contributor to sustainable agriculture.
SIANI plans to publish a series of articles throughout the year that will reflect on the cultural and ecological significance of camelids in indigenous communities’ livelihoods and traditional ways of life. The articles will review the role of camelids within these communities and the challenges and perspectives of researchers and local communities.