ELBARN is the European Livestock Breeds Ark and Rescue Net. The origin of ELBARN lies in rescue actions undertaken in Switzerland in the 1980s. From these early rescue actions a vision emerged of a pan-European network to ensure that valuable livestock can be protected from slaughter in times of crisis. Additionally, a pilot project began, in the German-speaking area of Europe, to create an online ‘guidebook’ of all centres with rare livestock breeds that are open to the public. This took the form of the Arca-Net website (www.arca-net.info ), promoting a network of ‘Ark Centres’. In 2006, these two ideas were combined to create the concept of the European Livestock Breeds Ark and Rescue Net in a project application to the European Commission. This application was submitted by five non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the project was chosen for support as a concerted action.


This funding has led to major achievements: five workshops took place, a questionnaire has been conducted and a set of breed descriptions, Guidelines and four Area Action Plans have been published. Further information and the project’s publications can be found on the ELBARN website


Alongside this work, the Arca-Net pilot project has been expanded from the German-speaking area and combined with the ELBARN project to include, at the time of writing, over 500 centres in 43 European countries, which makes this a unique collection of farms, open air museums, nature reserves, etc., all conserving the traditional breeds of their region.


In order to join the celebration of biodiversity that is taking place this year, ELBARN has published a book about agrobiodiversity – a crucial part of biodiversity.


The book should be both enjoyable and informative. The texts and photos show the variety of ways in which ‘agrobiodiversity’ can be seen as important. There are also many brief examples, which tell the history behind ELBARN and also show that, all over Europe, people are actively trying to conserve indigenous livestock breeds in many innovative ways. The photos to be found throughout the publication show the variety and beauty of this, often forgotten and neglected, part of biodiversity.


You can download the book as a pdf.


In case you would like printed copies please do not hesitate to contact Elli Broxham, elli@elbarn.net, who will be happy to send copies to you for the price of post and packaging.