Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases

New Zealand is a member of the Global Research Alliance on agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.

What is the Global Research Alliance?

The Mission of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA) is to bring countries together to find ways to grow more food without growing greenhouse gas emissions. It was launched in December 2009.

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How is New Zealand involved in the GRA?

New Zealand is a founding member, the current GRA Secretariat, is one of the Co-Chairs of the Livestock Research Group, and was GRA Council Chair (2011-2012).

The New Zealand Government committed $45 million to the work of the GRA in 2010 and in 2016 announced a further 20 million out to June 2020 to fund research in the area of greenhouse gas emissions mitigation in pasture based temporal livestock systems.

New Zealand is represented in the GRA by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), working closely with the environment and climate change groups from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and the Ministry for the Environment (MfE). MPI contracts the NZAGRC to manage New Zealand’s involvement in the Livestock Research Group and New Zealand’s GRA science research activities.

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What is the GRA Livestock Research Group?

The Livestock Research Group (LRG) is focused on reducing the emissions intensity of livestock production systems and increasing the quantity of carbon stored in soils supporting those systems.

The LRG is co-chaired by NZAGRC Director Dr Harry Clark and Dr Sinead Waters from Teagasc Ireland.

The LRG Vision is to:

  1. Increase agriculture production with lower emissions
  2. Improve global cooperation in research & technology
  3. Work with farmers and partners to provide knowledge

Read below for details on the workings of the LRG and GRA.

For more information on the group check out the December 2018 LRG newsletter at: https://globalresearchalliance.org/n/livestock-research-group-newsletter-december-2018/ 

Global solutions to reduce methane emissions from ruminant animals are feasible, because the microbes causing the emissions are similar around the world

The New Zealand-led “Global Rumen Census” project analysed the microbes responsible for ethane emissions from a wide range of ruminant animals around the world. The project found imilar bacteria and methanogens dominate in nearly all rumens across a wide variety of species and animal diets. This means that new technologies that seek to reduce methane emissions by influencing rumen microbes should have global applications.

The results of the Global Rumen Census were released on 9 October 2015 in the open-access journal Scientific Reports.

Global press release

pdf GRC Global Release (0.31MB) 

New Zealand press release

pdf GRC New Zealand Release (0.34MB) 

Science Q&A

pdf GRC Q&A (0.29MB) 

Rumen microbial community composition varies with diet and host, but a core microbiome is found across a wide geographical range
G. Henderson, F. Cox, S. Ganesh, A. Jonker, W. Young, P.H. Janssen. 2015.
Scientific Reports 5: 14567.
www.nature.com/articles/srep14567


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