The Investing in Sustainable Livestock (ISL) Tool was developed for project managers to help livestock projects contribute to environmental sustainability.


Drawing on a broad review of scientific evidence and experience in project management, technical teams at the World Bank and at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) consolidated seven principles for investing in sustainable livestock to underpin the guidance the tool provides.

These seven principles serve as a framework for assessing the environmental performance of livestock production systems as well as opportunities for livestock to contribute to sustainability outcomes. Each was based on a review of literature on livestock and the environment, project experience, and consultations with potential users. The principles have relevance for project conceptualization (Principle 1), technical project design (Principles 2 through 6), and the broader socio-cultural, political, and economic context in which the project will be implemented (Principle 7).

Below, explore each of the seven principles in detail. You’ll find an overview of each, a look at the principle as applied in the field, and a summary of trade-offs to consider.

We have also developed case studies that explore the principles in the different contexts in which livestock production projects typically take place. Once you have explored the theory behind the guidance, visit the online tool to apply it to your own project.

Production Contexts

Principles for Environmental Sustainability