Saturday, 29 November 2014

Year of the llama: Bolivia calls for 2016 to be dedicated to camelids

South American nation wants UN to raise awareness of the animal family, which includes alpacas and dromedary camels

Sara Shahriari in La Paz

The Guardian, Friday 28 November 2014 19.32 GMT

For centuries they have hauled loads up the Andes and through trackless deserts with no more acknowledgment than a slap on the rump. Now, however, the llama’s moment may finally have come: the Bolivian government is lobbying the UN to make 2016 the international year of camelids.

The proposal – which would include not only llamas but alpacas, vicuñas and guanacos, found in Andean South America, and the Bactrian and dromedary camel, found in Asia, Africa and Australia – is contained in a draft resolution which proclaims “the economic and cultural importance of camelids in the lives of the people living in the areas where they are domesticated and used as a source of food and wool and as pack animals”.

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