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Celebrating the International Year of the Camelids

The year 2024 has been designated as the International Year of the Camelids, a celebration promoted by the government of Bolivia and made official by the United Nations General Assembly. Since December 4, 2023, the year dedicated to camelids has begun and aims to highlight the economic, social, and cultural importance of this species, highlighting its vital role in human subsistence and its contribution to progress towards the Sustainable Development Objectives.

Camelids: guardians of the earth

Camelids, which include Bactrian camels and South American camelids such as llamas, alpacas, vicuñas and guanacos, have been recognized as “the heroes of deserts and highlands” by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). These animals provide food, fiber, fertilizer and serve as a means of transportation for millions of people in more than 90 countries.

The species of camelids are not only part of the sustenance and transportation of communities, but they are also part of traditions and cultures. In addition, they are essential for the conservation of the ecosystems in which they live, helping to maintain biodiversity and environmental balance. At a time when climate change threatens biodiversity, the protection and sustainable development of camelids is more important than ever.

Commemoration and Action

During this year, various activities will be carried out around the world to commemorate the importance of camelids. From international conferences to local events, the celebration seeks to raise awareness about the potential of these species and promote investments in their development. In this link provided by the FAO, you can find details about events such as the III International Seminar on Sustainable Production in South American Camelids.

Challenges and opportunities in Peru

In the Peruvian context, the country is home to a large number of camelids, with 80% of alpacas, 30% of llamas, 50% of vicuñas and less than 1% of guanacos worldwide. Despite this natural wealth, Peru faces significant challenges in the development and protection of these species.

To address the challenges, the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MINAGRI) has allocated a significant investment of 1.2 billion soles to strengthen activities related to camelids during the period 2024-2027. This investment is expected to benefit more than 90 thousand producers and contribute to the sustainable development of this important sector.

The International Year of the Camelids is an opportunity to reflect on the importance of this species and take concrete measures for its protection and development. Through international cooperation and the commitment of governments and local communities, a prosperous future can be ensured for both camelids and the communities that depend on them.

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