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Broad science partnership to tackle New Zealand's agricultural greenhouse gases

New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre opened

Increasing agriculture’s ability to create wealth for New Zealand in a carbon constrained world, is the mission of the Government’s New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre opened today by the Prime Minister John Key in Palmerston North at AgResearch’s Grasslands campus.

The Centre is a partnership between AgResearch, Dairy NZ, Landcare Research, Lincoln University, Massey University, NIWA, Plant & Food Research, the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium (PGgRc), and Scion.

Centre Director Dr Harry Clark welcomed the opening of the facility. ‘“The Centre will lead and co-ordinate research to reduce methane and nitrous oxide emissions, and to increase the rates of soil carbon accumulation. This research will underpin the development of novel, credible and cost-effective low greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting production systems that provide farmers with practical options for reducing emissions,” said Dr Clark.

The Centre will also play a key role in New Zealand’s science input into the world-wide initiative, the Global Research Alliance (GRA), announced in Copenhagen last year.

“The Centre coordinates research and brings together key scientists from up and down New Zealand as they work on one of the biggest challenges of our time,” said Dr Clark.

“While agriculture creates about half of New Zealand’s GHG emissions, it also generates around 44 per cent of New Zealand’s merchandise export earnings and so is a critical contributor to New Zealand’s livelihood. The challenge is for the Centre to find ways for New Zealand to meet its international GHG emission obligations without reducing agricultural output.”
The Centre will:

  1. Manage projects which are directly contracted through the Centre.
  2. Undertake appropriate co-ordination of activities both within New Zealand and internationally.
  3. Manage reporting of progress against strategy and communications both within New Zealand and internationally.
  4. Coordinate ongoing development of a national research strategy in the area.
  5. Actively engage in the promotion, and widespread adoption of proven cost effective technologies.

Research projects will be undertaken around the country, with details of the projects supported and coordinated by the Centre to be announced in April 2010.

For further information contact:

Dr Harry Clark
P: 029 351-8111

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