Who is it for?

The global livestock sector today faces a significant challenge: how to continue contributing to the
development of societies? Globally there is a pressing need to address the increasing demand for livestock and at the same time contribute to environmentally sustainable, healthy and equitable food systems. While development institutions around the world are making higher levels of commitment to sustainable development objectives, project teams often lack information and tools to do the same in livestock investment projects on the ground. Providing this support to teams is the aim of the ISL Guide.
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What is it?

The ISL Guide offers a structured, flexible, web-based approach to “guide” project teams to embed sustainable development objectives into livestock projects. The guide focuses on environmental and animal health aspects of sustainability and is based on the identification of a total of fourteen principles of sustainability in production and processing: environmental (seven principles) and animal health (seven principles). Drawing on these principles, the guide provides practical advice for developing projects in six common livestock production systems, or contexts, found globally. The guide also links to resources and tools from partners that provide more detailed guidance on designing, implementing, and measuring environmental or animal health interventions in livestock projects. The guide will be expanded to include recommendations addressing the equity dimension of sustainability.

Why do we need it?

Sustainability largely depends on production and processing decisions, such as the choice of species, location, equipment, access to resources and services, as well as risk-reducing practices. Consequently, choices made during the design and implementation of investment projects have a major influence over outcomes that affect the sustainability of livestock value chains in terms of environmental, animal health, and social equity considerations. These decisions can intensify either positive or negative impacts. The choices project teams make – and the implications of those choices – vary widely according to contexts: from smallholder and pastoralist systems to larger-scale, commercial production. Economic and institutional conditions and climatic zones are also factors. The guide helps teams navigate this diversity and complexity. Together, investors can address the growing global demand for livestock products while also addressing sustainability. 

Where is it applicable?

The ISL Guide is relevant globally and includes guidance for each of the world’s major livestock systems and broad livestock operations objectives and interventions. It can be accessed with an internet connection from anywhere in the world and offers downloadable PDFs to print and use offline. The below figure illustrates how the ISL Guide can be used at different stages of the project’s cycle.
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