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COP 22 Methane Emissions in Livestock ~ Managing Impacts

A Q&A Discussion Panel of experts from Uruguay, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Costa Rica and Brazil, address the issues of mitigation impacts in livestock production systems and share how they are managing their measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) systems in terms of livestock emissions and to identify practical innovations for the collection and coordination of activity data and improved emission factors.

Walter Oyhandçabal, Director of the Sustainability and Climate Change Unit in the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries, Uruguay – we are a livestock country with an economy strongly based on the agricultural sector (70% of all exports) and have taken steps to develop high quality national statistics on livestock through an MRV system called SNIG, through which data is spatially disaggregated by cattle herd, category, diet quality, and composition.  Through the use of electronic and visual tags Uruguay now achieves 100% real-time trace-ability of livestock emissions and farmers also make annual electronic reports of the numbers of head by type and diet, which allows classification of animals by production system (e.g. breeding, fattening) and share of grassland region by seven ecoregions in the country.

Bess Tiesnamurti, Director of the Indonesian Centre for Animal Research and Development, reported that country-specific emissions factors for Indonesia were higher for male cattle than the emissions estimated using default factors for Asia.

Zewdu Eshetu, Director of the Climate Science Center at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, noted that because livestock emissions vary by health, diet quality, management, and milk productivity of animals, it is difficult to develop precise emission factors without using Tier III approaches. He observed that in Ethiopia, rural mixed crop-livestock systems and pastoral and agropastoral systems contributed the bulk of emissions, but were also more variable than small-scale or medium-scale commercial dairy operations, limiting the precision of their emissions estimates.

Agripina Jenkins Rojas, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Costa Rica spoke on how they are addressing coordination through their Sistema Nacional de Informasión Ambiente (SINIA), which provides protocols and methodologies to their Sistema Nacional de Métrica de Cambio Climático (SINAMECC), which in turn enables inter-institutional information exchange among units concerned with mitigation, adaptation, finance, and co-benefits. Their data platform also meets the needs of carbon registries.

Alexandre Berndt, Brazilian Agricultural Research corp, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food supply stated that Brazil is using MRV not just for reporting on NDCs, but also for informing national programs, such as the Carbon Neutral Meat initiative (a carbon label) and the Sectoral Plan for the Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change for a Low Carbon Emission Agriculture (ABC Plan), which offers a special line of credit and financial support for mitigation actions. An ABC platform serves as a place to compile data on GHG emissions from agriculture and to estimate the overall impact of the ABC Plan.

In a seperate interview with Robin Mbae, Deputy Director for Livestock Production and Head of the Climate Change Unit in the State Department of Livestock in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of Kenya, he noted that coordination of stakeholders at the national level is needed in every country in order to compile activity data and calculate the most relevant emissions factors, and that agreement had been reached that MRV systems need to be reliable, accurate, and capture mitigation.  It has become clear that additional research is needed to develop emission factors for different production systems and to produce models relevant to countries’ diverse conditions, which has been acknowledged and agreed upon by all relevant parties.

Links:
http://www.brazilgovnews.gov.br/news/fact-sheet-cop22_en_nov16_final.pdf  (Brazil at COP 22, Marrakech)
https://ccafs.cgiar.org/ccafs-un-climate-change-conference-cop22#.WE6HCJI5xYg  (CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security)
http://www.cgiar.org/cop22/   (CGIAR at COP 22, Marrakech)

 

 

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