New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre wins international contract

The NZAGRC, in partnership with the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), has been successful in obtaining funding from the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) for a project to reduce methane emissions from enteric fermentation in several world regions.

The CCAC is an initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme to reduce so-called ‘short-lived' climate pollutants, including black carbon and methane from industrial and agricultural sources. The project will seek to identify options and demonstrate ways of reducing methane emissions intensity through practice change in ruminant livestock production systems in Asia, East Africa and Latin America. It builds on an existing project funded by the New Zealand Government in support of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA) and will extend this work into more regions of the world and take this knowledge to the farm level.

The project will examine packages of actions that improve resource use efficiency and will implement them in selected pilot sites to reduce emissions of enteric methane per unit of product. Flow on effects will include increased livestock productivity and food security, and realisation of broader social, economic and other environmental goals. The project received $1m for the first phase of the project which will take approximately 9 months. A further $2m of funding is contingent upon satisfactory progress in the first phase.

Twenty one organisations and alliances from throughout the world will collaborate to achieve these goals over the next 2-3 years.

The two stage workplan comprises: 

  1.  identifying and prioritising opportunities for mitigation using a comprehensive life cycle analysis model and locally sourced data in South Asia, East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and South America. 
  2. mobilising resources for testing and demonstration of prioritised technology and policy actions for efficiency gains and mitigation at selected sites within regions;
  3. evaluating the success of the applied interventions against social, economic and environmental goals;
  4. identifying barriers to adoption and building capacity to aid implementation; and 
  5. harnessing stakeholder support for wider adoption, knowledge generation and transfer.

New Zealand will provide scientific input and play a role in the oversight and implementation of the project, with contributions from international and local Implementation Partners. Victoria Hatton, who is the Operations Manager (International) of the NZAGRC, has been seconded to the FAO to act as central coordinator for the initial parts of this project.

About the CCAC Agriculture Initiative
Lead Partners: Bangladesh, Canada, the European Commission, Ghana, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, the United States, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. (FAO), and the World Bank.

The CCAC Agriculture Initiative (known as "Addressing SLCP Emissions from Agriculture) was approved by the CCAC Working Group in July 2013. It aims to share and implement best practices for minimizing emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) from agriculture in a manner that is consistent with broader climate change objectives and that also enhances food security and livelihoods.

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