Trade-offs among sustainability goals in the Central Asian livestock sector: A research review
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The SDGnexus Network (SDGNN) establishes a common research framework for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), supporting research, networking and capacity building of scientists in Latin America and Central Asia. This report examines the livestock sector in Central Asia as one of the main research areas of the SDGNN. Based on a comprehensive review of the literature to date, we distinguish five major SDG trade-offs that we expect in three key areas: 1. Agricultural commercialisation may exclude smallholder farmers, and rising incomes may lead to dietary change with negative health outcomes, implying a trade-off between poverty reduction and zero hunger (SDGs 1 & 2) on the one hand and decent work and economic growth (SDGs 8 & 9) on the other. 2. More productive small livestock farmers may degrade environmental resources, and more diverse and nutritious diets through meat and milk products may overexploit feeding resources, implying a trade-off between poverty reduction and zero hunger (SDGs 1 & 2) on the one hand and water availability (SDG 6), life on land (SDG 15) and climate action (SDG 13) on the other. 3. At a sectoral scale, economic growth may put pressure on key resources for livestock husbandry, implying a trade-off between economic growth (SDGs 8 & 9) on the one hand and water availability (SDG 6), life on land (SDG 15) and climate action (SDG 13) on the other. We investigate the potential synergies and trade-offs within eight topical sections: farm restructuring and land reform; sustainable grazing systems; fodder production and irrigation; livestock species, genetic improvement and animal health; value chain development; human diet and health; livestock production and climate change; and services and policies for agriculture. We identify key research gaps in each area and thus present a research agenda for the SDG Nexus project in the area of livestock husbandry in Central Asia.