Events for May 2024

Livestock production and greenhouse gas emissions in the Southern African Development Community: Historical trends and prospects for mitigation

Livestock production and greenhouse gas emissions in the Southern African Development Community: Historical trends and prospects for mitigation 2560 1113 aflp

Livestock production and GHG in SADC: Historical trends and prospects for mitigation

Executive Summary:

There is increasing recognition of the need to sustainably increase livestock production to meet the growing human demand for livestock products in southern Africa while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in response to climate change. However, stakeholders are faced with limited data and understanding to adequately incorporate information about livestock production and GHG emissions into livestock policy interventions. This paper provides an overview of the status of socio-economic factors driving production and consumption of livestock-derived foods at country- and regional- level, and explores the current status and trends in livestock population, production and GHG emissions over the past two decades, to improve the stakeholders’ awareness about the linkages between these changes. In 2020, cattle, goat, sheep, pig and poultry populations were 75, 60, 37, 19.4 and 450 million, respectively. Pig (mean; 11.7 mill.) and poultry populations (0.38 mill.) have generally increased across the region by 141 and 45 percent respectively. Cattle (67.2 mill.) and goats (49.9 mill.) populations have also grown by 20 and 53 percent respectively mostly in low-income (LICs) and low-middle income countries (LMICs) while these species declined significantly in upper-middle- and high-income countries (UMHICs). Sheep numbers (37.5 mill.) portrayed a negative (-5 %) trend owing to huge population decline in UMHICs. Livestock population growth led to improved meat (4.3 MT), milk (7.6 MT) and egg (7.0 MT) production across the region by 100, 64 and 65 percent, respectively mostly in LICs and LMICs. In 2020, the region produced 5.9, 9.6 and 0.9 million tonnes of meat, milk and eggs, respectively. Country-level increases were highest for egg production (2800 %), followed by meat (618 %) and milk production (324 %). Subsequent enteric methane (76589 Gg CO2-eq) and manure management emissions (4644 Gg CO2-eq) showed a temporal and spatial pattern similar to livestock population trends by increasing by 21 and 58 percent, respectively.

Total livestock related GHG emissions ranged between 71000 and 91000 Gg CO2-eq over the past two decades, accounting for up to 40 percent of regional agricultural emissions. Current evidence reveals that full adoption of most effective mitigation strategies in African countries by 2050 may still see countries fail to meet their contribution to the global mitigation goal. The mitigation efforts will likely be offset by the projected GHG increases due to sustained demand for livestock-derived foods, mostly in LICs and LMICs. The first step and entry point for reducing GHG emission intensity in extensive livestock systems dominating the region is to improve production efficiency by adopting the good practices already existing within the current production systems. These practices help support food and nutrition security and benefit in reducing degradation while avoiding emissions in grazing lands. There is optimism that a combination of high demand for livestock-derived foods, intensification of smallholder livestock systems and shift from extensive ruminant to intensive monogastric systems could lead to improved production efficiency and reduced GHG emission intensity in sub-Saharan Africa. The information presented in this paper is necessary for guiding policy makers to integrate GHG baselines and mitigation issues when planning livestock policy interventions.

Strengthening Malawi’s National Response to Climate Smart Livestock Workshop

Strengthening Malawi’s National Response to Climate Smart Livestock Workshop 2416 757 Jamie

Strengthening Malawi’s National Response to Climate Smart Livestock Workshop

From the 20th – 21st of November 2023, AfCAP hosted its first Technical Support Livestock Peer Exchange  Visit in Salima, Malawi. This workshop aimed to support Malawi in developing and improving its livestock Tier 2 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) inventories, raising awareness on GHG emissions within the livestock sector and, enhancing the incorporation of livestock GHG MRVs and mitigation options into the National Climate Policies and implementation plans.  Five experts,  from Kenya and Zimbabwe, attended this peer exchange visit offering their technical expertise and support. These experts shared their experiences on their country’s development of the Livestock Tier 2 GHG inventories and the faps identified during the process.  

Photo: AfCAP Secretariat with experts and Malawi delegates

This workshop was crucial in supporting Malawi in increasing awareness within Malawi’s livestock sector on the importance of using advanced GHG emission inventory methods and thus empowering the sector to meaningfully engage and contribute to national climate actions. The workshop provided an opportunity to help Malawi’s livestock sector to identify a pathway for support to assist Malawi to expand use of advanced GHG inventory methods of Tier 2 beyond the cattle species. 

The first day of the peer exchange visit began with an overview of the global context of climate change and livestock which was followed by presentations on Malawi’s climate goals, livestock sector, Malawi and Kenya’s approach to the development of Tier 2 inventories. The second day kicked off with welcoming remarks from Malawi’s Director for Animal Health and Livestock Development (AHLD), Dr. Julius Chulu. Following the welcoming remarks, experts from Zimbabwe and Kenya presented their country experiences. The workshop concluded with afternoon breakout sessions on Malawi’s lessons learnt, challenges and opportunities in the development of its’ Tier 2 inventories. 

Photo: Expert Bernard Kimoro, State Department for Livestock Development (MOALD), Kenya, with Malawi delegates during a breakout session
Photo: Expert Grace Tambo, Department of Livestock Research, Zimbabwe, with Malawi delegates during a breakout session

The various stakeholders had expressed the usefulness of this workshop as it aided in building capacity of these stakeholders. The workshop raised awareness among the various stakeholders. Both Malawian stakeholders and experts from Zimbabwe and Kenya felt that learning had happened both ways during this workshop.  Overall, the workshop was an extremely useful opportunity to raise awareness and increase Malawi’s understanding around the issues related to GHG emissions in the livestock sector. 

Attached below is the outcome report developed from the Malawi workshop for further insights into what was discussed during the workshop.

Promoting soil health to address compounding challenges in Nigeria

Promoting soil health to address compounding challenges in Nigeria 2560 1707 aflp

Promoting soil health to address compounding challenges in Nigeria

In a proactive move towards promoting soil health in the face of food insecurity and climate change, the African Climate Action Partnership (ACAP) and the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC) recently co-hosted the first regional workshop on climate smart soil in Abuja, Nigeria. The workshop brought together policymakers, scientists, and practioners to explore the critical nexus between soil health, climate change, and food security.

Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Climate Change, Hon. Chris Nkwonta, providing goodwill messages during opening session at the first regional workshop on climate smart soil in Abuja, Nigeria

The workshop was organised in response to Nigeria’s president, Bola Tinubu’s, declaration of a state of emergency on food security. The event acknowledged the challenges posed by climate change to agriculture, particularly in Nigeria, where vulnerability to climate variability is high. During the two day workshop the need for holistic approaches that address the interconnected issues of soil degradation, changing weather patterns, and their impact on food production were raised.

Dr Salisu Dahiru, the Director General for the National Council on climate Change in Nigeria highlighted the urgency of the situation. “we are faced with sobering realities. Soil degradation, loss of arable land, and declining agricultural productivity pose significant threats to global food security. Climate change exacerbates these challenges further, with extreme weather events, rising temperatures, and unpredictable rainfall patterns wreaking havoc on agricultural systems worldwide. However, amidst these challenges lies an opportunity to recognize the immense potential of healthy soils as a solution to both food security and climate change”.

Delegates discuss knowledge gaps that inhibit further action on soil health during the first regional workshop on climate smart soil in Abuja, Nigeria

The discussions on the first day focused on the interlinkages and global advances being made in understanding the soil-climate-food nexus. This included presentations from leading organisations and initiatives in this field, including ICRAF-CIFOR, the Coalition of Action for Soil Health (CA4SH), and 4per1000. Policy opportunities were also highlighted within the context of Nigeria’s NDC as well as potential synergies between the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD).

The workshop also addressed potential solutions and roadmaps for increasing soil health. Presenters on day 2 focused on methods for measuring soil emissions and mapping soils, solutions for sustainable fertiliser and land use practices as well as decision-support tools for improved soil management. Delegates were also introduced to the Soil Initiative for Africa and the African Fertiliser and Soil Health (AFSH) Action Plans which will be put forward at the African Fertiliser and Soil Health Forum in 2024.

The workshop concluded with discussion on how Nigeria can domesticate the Soil Initiative for Africa and develop their own action plans. Delegates expressed the need to improve cross sectoral collaboration and improvements in data access and analysis capacity as critical to further this action.

The collaborative nature of the event enforced a sense of the shared need to collective take these actions forward. Delegates noted that the event had created a valuable network of stakeholders and there was a need to expand the stakeholders involved to ensure all relevant actors were present. It was noted that it was critical to maintain the momentum from the event and form a technical committee to take this topic forward in Nigeria.

Delegates share their envisioned way forward during the conclusion of the first regional workshop on climate smart soil in Abuja, Nigeria

As the workshop concluded, a sense of optimism and determination prevailed. The exchange of knowledge, experiences, and ideas underscored the potential for strengthening Nigeria’s response to food insecurity and climate change. The NCCC pledged ongoing support for initiatives emerging from the workshop, ensuring that the momentum generated will translate into concrete actions that fortify the intersection of soil health, climate change resilience, and food security in Nigeria.

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