Programme for climate-smart livestock systems

Active

Objective: Key actors in the livestock sector increasingly include climate change adaptation and mitigation in their farming practices, sector strategies and investment projects. Within the framework of the Paris Agreement, countries are improving the reporting of their NDCs in the livestock sector.

In sub-Saharan Africa, livestock is crucial for the livelihoods of more than 80 per cent of households that are classed as poor. As a result of a growing population, increasing income and urbanisation, demand for livestock products is rising steadily.

Climate change has a negative impact on livestock production. Rising temperatures and lower annual rainfall reduce livestock productivity and inhibit the growth of fodder crops. Due to soil degradation and water scarcity, animals no longer have sufficient food. Land-use conflicts are increasing, threatening food security and gradually eroding livestock farmers’ livelihoods.

However, livestock production is not only affected by the impact of climate change, but also contributes to it. For example, in many countries in the region, the agricultural sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The largest part often comes from livestock production, such as emissions released during the digestive process of ruminants, storage and application of manure, and fodder production. Many countries indicate in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) their willingness to implement measures for reducing livestock sector emissions; however, emission data is not yet available for accurately determining the mitigation potential of climate-smart livestock systems. These systems are better adapted to the impact of climate change and contribute to climate change mitigation. Livestock farmers and policy-makers in particular require information on possible climate scenarios and tried-and-tested solutions for their implementation.

Approach

The project is being implemented in cooperation with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the World Bank (WB) and focuses on the combination of scientific data collection and solution-led field research on climate-smart livestock production. The results are being mainstreamed via large-scale investment projects.

Together with livestock keepers promising climate-smart livestock systems are being developed by ILRI and are undergoing practical trials. They include improvements in the cultivation of specific fodder crops, feed processing as well as manure and pasture management. The contribution of livestock systems to climate change mitigation and adaptation is demonstrated through on-site measurements and laboratory investigations. These findings are being disseminated through training-the-trainer measures and are included in the curricula of relevant training and extension organisations.

At policy level, possible development paths in the livestock sector are being designed as part of multi-stakeholder working groups, and participatory scenario planning for targeted decision-making is used. This ensures that the expected short, medium and long-term impacts of climate change on the livestock sector are taken into account in the planning of policy frameworks, strategies and investment projects.

In addition, ILRI supports partner countries in shifting their monitoring and reporting systems to tier 2 approaches in the livestock sector. This is particularly relevant in demonstrating the effectiveness of climate change mitigation measures, thus enabling countries to improve their reporting on the Paris Agreement.

The World Bank concentrates on providing advice to national teams on formulating and implementing new, large investment projects in the livestock sector and on how to include climate-smart approaches when designing projects.