Dr. Ilse Kohler-RollefsonFounder
League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development
& Co-Drector, Marwar Camel Culture Festival
I was initially a veterinarian, then worked for ten years as an archaeozoologist in Jordan, studying domestication and early human-animal relationships. Thats also where I first fell in love with camels, leading to a doctorate on camel domestication at the Veterinary College in Hannover (Germany). After some fieldwork on camel pastoralists in Sudan, I came to India in 1990 to study the Raika camel herders and have been there ever since that fateful encounter with Adoji (who sadly passed away in early 2014) and his wonderful camel herd.
Now I do everything that I feel is necessary to work towards policies and practices that support socially responsible and ecologically sustainable livestock development, and to develop alternatives to the “Livestock Revolution” which is one of the socially and ecologically most disastrous trends globally. So I am variously a researcher, a writer, an activist, a fund raiser, a teacher and trainer. I also keep learning from pastoralists and from my friends and colleagues in the LIFE Network which all work with livestock keeping communities on the ground.
I am associated with two organisations: The League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development (LPP) and Lokhit Pashu-Palak Sansthan (LPPS), a local organisation in Rajasthan (India) and I am dividing my time between the two, but sometimes also advise international organisations.I have undertaken numerous consultancies, including for World Bank, GTZ/GIZ, Misereor, FAO, ILRI, Natural Resources International (NRI), German Forum for Environment andDevelopment, EED, League for Pastoral Peoplesand Endogenous Livestock development (LPP), and others, on a variety of issues relating to participatory livestock development with a special emphasis on breeding,sustainable natural resource management, and gender.I have a wealth of practical experience in niche market development for pastoralists.As co-founder and projects coordinator of the League for Pastoral Peoplesand Endogenous Livestock development (LPP), I have developed a large number of successful project proposals funded by Misereor, GTZ, FAO, Rockefeller Foundation, Dutch Biodiversity Fund, Swedbio, The Christensen Fund, Ford Foundation, Winrock, Swiss Development Cooperation, Fondation d’Entreprise Hermès, Swissaid, Bread for the World,and others The latest twist in the tale is that, together with my Rajasthani partner, I have become a camel farmer and recently started Camel Charisma, a social enterprise that develops and markets camel products.
Academic Areas of Expertise
Veterinary Medicine; Dryland Biodiversity; Participatory Livestock Development; Animal Breeding; Sustainable Natural Resource Management; Gender; Market Development for Pastoralists; Rangeland Ecology.