CGIAR Women Scientists invited to showcase livestock emissions mitigation potential at the USAID-supported Climate and Clean Air Conference

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    CGIAR Initiative on Livestock and Climate
  • Published on
    05.04.24
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The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) was founded in 2012 with support from the governments of Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico, Sweden and the United States. Convened by UNEP, the Coalition has an ambitious agenda to reduce powerful but short-lived climate pollutants (SCLPs) – methane, black carbon, hydrofluorocarbons and tropospheric ozone – that drive both climate change and air pollution. The Coalition provides secretariat functions for the Global Methane Pledge and houses the coordination of the group of Lowering Organic Waste Methane Initiative. Robust science and analysis underpin these efforts.  

Invitation to support the 2024 CCAC Conference 

On the invitation of USAID and UNEP, ILRI supported the Coalition’s 2024 conference held in Nairobi from 21-23 February, on the margins of the Sixth Session of the United Nations 2024 Environment Assembly. The conference brought together representatives from governments, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, finance institutions and key stakeholders from the African region. 

 Sharing Livestock and Climate research in key sessions  

The first day of the conference Isabelle Baltenweck, Principal Scientist and lead of the CGIAR Research Initiative on Sustainable Animal Productivity, contributed to the session ‘Economic Assessment and the Cost of Inaction’ highlighting the importance of gender and livelihood considerations in interventions to reduce SCLPs in livestock systems, the diverse impacts of climate change on women in low- and middle-income countries and their needs. ‘Small-scale farmers, and women in particular, urgently need support to transition towards low emissions pathways, while ensuring they can still harness the climate resilience offered by livestock,’ she said.  

Laura Cramer, Policy Engagement Specialist at ILRI and the CGIAR Research Initiative on Livestock and Climate, moderated the breakout session ‘Demystifying Methane and N2O Mitigation in the Agricultural Sector’. The session explored opportunities, challenges and innovative solutions for reducing emissions from agriculture, and the behavioral changes required. A case study on Brazil’s agricultural sector and the National Policy for Low Carbon Agriculture contextualized the discussion. Cramer emphasized that ‘a shared focus on leveraging upcoming assessments to bolster agricultural sector mitigation efforts and to engage decision makers and stakeholders early and continuously is critical to secure buy-in and drive impactful policy decisions.’ 

Laura Cramer moderates the ‘Demystifying Methane and N2O Mitigation in the Agricultural Sector’ session at the Climate and Clean Air Conference 2024. Photo by CCAC.
Laura Cramer moderates the ‘Demystifying Methane and N2O Mitigation in the Agricultural Sector’ session at the Climate and Clean Air Conference 2024. Photo by CCAC.

On the 22nd February, Alessandra Galie, Gender Team Leader at ILRI, launched the co-developed Framework for Gender-Responsive Livestock Development, which provides guidance to countries and livestock specialists planning and implementing gender-responsive policies and investments in the livestock sector. This was followed by a presentation by Claudia Arndt, Senior Scientist and Team Leader of ILRI’s Mazingira Centre on strategies to mitigate methane from ruminants in LMICs. Setting the scene for the session, ‘Raising Farmers Voices: Advancing Methane Mitigation in African Livestock Systems.  

Claudia Arndt, Co-Leader of Mazingira Centre at ILRI, and Bernard Kimoro, Head of Climate Change and Livestock at the Kenya State Department for Livestock, explain the biggest livestock issues in Kenya and partnership with each other. Photo by K.Tam/ILRI.
Claudia Arndt, Co-Leader of Mazingira Centre at ILRI, and Bernard Kimoro, Head of Climate Change and Livestock at the Kenya State Department for Livestock, explain the biggest livestock issues in Kenya and partnership with each other. Photo by K.Tam/ILRI.

‘In our pursuit of methane mitigation and meeting food security goals, we must optimize production while minimizing emission intensity through climate smart livestock practices that not only help to increase livestock productivity but also improve livestock adaptation to climate change,’ Arndt concluded.  

ILRI also organized a field visit for CCAC members to ILRI’s Kapiti Research Station and Wildlife Conservancy. The visit showcased innovations such as the Eddy covariance flux tower to measure gas including methane exchange between land surface and the atmosphere, bomas (animal enclosures) emissions research site, and the enviro cow index. CCAC members expressed interest in collaborating with ILRI to strengthen local efforts to develop science-based policies that support agriculture development, emissions reduction and food security.  

Nelson Kipchirchir, field technician from Kapiti, explains to CCAC attendees about the Eddy tower's tools to measure soil temperature, moisture and other environmental factors, as well as how static flux chambers work to capture and measure soil emissions. Photo by K.Tam/ILRI.
Nelson Kipchirchir, field technician from Kapiti, explains to CCAC attendees about the Eddy tower’s tools to measure soil temperature, moisture and other environmental factors, as well as how static flux chambers work to capture and measure soil emissions. Photo by K.Tam/ILRI.

The engagement of ILRI and the Initiatives on Livestock and Climate and Sustainable Livestock Production highlighted the critical importance of tailored approaches to mitigating SLCPs in agricultural systems in low and middle-income countries. Thanking ILRI for its’ contribution, UNEP Agriculture Expert in the CCAC Secretariat Greg Kohler said ILRI’s support has helped us boost our engagement with ministries of agriculture. We are prioritizing implementation of methane abatement strategies in the livestock sector through the CCAC Agriculture Hub, and this was a great opportunity to showcase high impact mitigation options for low- and middle-income countries throughout the conference. 

Header image: Isabelle Baltenweck and other panelists at the Economic Assessment and the Cost of Inaction’ session on 21 Feb 2024 at the Climate and Clean Air Conference 2024. Photo by CCAC.

Story by Fiona Flintan, Livestock and Climate Initiative Lead, and Madison Spinelli. 

 

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