‘Better-fed animals have lower emissions intensities’, said Polly Ericksen, a senior scientist and program leader of Livestock Systems and Environment (LSE) program at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), during the ‘Regional workshop on climate-smart agriculture (CSA) technologies’ in Manila, Philippines on 2-4 June 2015.
Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit of output in livestock production is one of ILRI’s research priorities, which is in line with the low-emission development strategy (LEDS) to respond to the challenges of climate change.
Climate-smart approach to livestock production
On the first day of the workshop, Ericksen delivered a presentation on climate-smart livestock interventions. In her presentation, Ericksen said that climate change is affecting livestock management directly. Heat-stressed animals digest less effectively, which leads to higher GHG emissions from the animals.
Furthermore, climate change will affect the availability of feed and fodder and the distribution of pests and diseases and new arrangements will be needed for the governance of resources such as pasture and water in the face of climate change.
To respond to the challenges of climate change in livestock production, Ericksen emphasized that it is important to explore the use of an approach that involves a combination of adaptation and mitigation options. These options include improving feed quality, improving animal husbandry and health and improving grassland management.
Why climate-smart agriculture matters
Climate-smart agriculture is an integrative approach to address the interlinked challenges of food security and climate change. It aims to sustainably increase productivity, adapt and build resilience, and reduce GHG emissions in agriculture.
The recently held workshop discussed CSA technologies in general, and in particular, the background, tools, policy and scaling up support needed to widen knowledge and use of the approach.
The workshop was co-organized by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
Representatives from the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), regional networks/organizations such as the Asia‐Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Network (APAN), the German–ASEAN Program on Climate Change (GAP‐CC) and national agencies from the Philippines and Vietnam attended the workshop.