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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

Menu Logo Principal AgroParisTech Université Paris-Saclay

INRA GABI Unit

GABI : Génétique Animale et Biologie IntégrativeUnité Mixte de Recherche INRA - AgroParisTech

RECOLAD seminar on the adaptation of farm animals to climate change

Inra - Recolad
© Inra
A seminar on the genetic adaptation of animals to climate change was held in Paris in 2015 (11 and 12 February) with the participation of 75 scientists from 22 different countries.

Context and stakes

Climate change (CC) is one of the major challenges of our time. Many direct consequences (increasing temperatures) and indirect (availability of food resources, increase of sanitary risks) are expected on the short and middle term, with important effects on agriculture in general and on breeding in particular. Even if the nature and degree of the effects will vary from one region to another, the adaptation of animals to the effects of global warming is a challenge that all research actors from the North and South must meet. For this reason, it is important to have a proactive approach to the consequences announced for climate change. Considering our knowledge today but also practices and/or resources available in Southern countries, current studies are aimed at characterizing climate/sanitary environment effects on animal performances in breeding. We are currently trying to understand what measures will be the most efficient for the adaptation of animals or breeding systems to the effects of climate change. These measures will be founded on the modification of current herd management methods (housing, diet, health, etc..) and on the selection of animals less sensible to environmental constraints.

Results

The RECOLAD project is part of an approach that reinforces our research capacity on adaptation to climate change through the creation of a network to favor synergies between the different actors working on the subject. This network will also give the opportunity to better respond (in partnership with the CIRAD) to the animal sectors expectations often voiced by our southern partners. It was with this in mind that a seminar was organized on the adaptation of farm animals to climate change in Paris on 11 and 12 February 2015 as part of the RECOLAD project financed by the ACCAF metaprogram. The main objective was to share ideas on adaptation strategies on different levels: animal, farm, production system. Seventy-five scientists from 22 different countries participated with the goal of  creating a network for sharing practices, methods and data in order to develop efficient and innovative approaches to succeed in adapting animals and farm systems to the effects of climate change. All the presentations and written documents figure on a web site developed specially for the event:  (http://www6.inra.fr/recolad/Animations/Workshop-2015/Presentations).

Through these discussions several elements were identified that will serve as a solid basis for research on climate change:

  • Characterizing the envionment of the animal (geography, climate, reproduction systems);
  • Identification of new traits;
  • Use of similar strategies for phenotyping; 
  • Creation of a shared and accessible zootechnical/environmental database;
  • Quantification of the compared adaptation potential of local and commercial breeds through phentoypic and fine genomic characterization;

In parallel, it is absolutely necessary that organizations and farmers become aware of the vulnerability of animal production systems to climate change. Through this action, new partnerships are being built with international partners.