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February 26, 2021   •   News

This online event, run by the European Chemical Regions Network, will present the BSAT, a toolkit designed to guide decision-makers in the development & review of regional bioeconomy strategies. After this, there will be presentations and recommendations surrounding the establishment of bioeconomy-driven working groups.

For further information and the link to register, click below

February 22, 2021   •   News

Ackim Mwape, PhD

The key role that livestock activity data plays in the development and application of national GHG inventories has been widely recognised and discussed. In order to design and implement Tier 2 MRV methods, appropriate data on the characteristics and performance of different sub-categories of livestock is needed.

Unfortunately, such data are not always available, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where it remains a challenge to collect data, and move countries towards having detailed (at least Tier 2) baselines for livestock emissions estimates to support their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Recognising that the level of availability of livestock sector activity data is currently unknown in most sub-Saharan African countries, New Zealand, through the GRA and in collaboration with regional and international partners, supported the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) and University of Pretoria to survey and analyse the availability of activity data (cattle populations) and data required for emission factors (animal performance data).

Livestock sector activity data were collated and collected from 37 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa. The data collection exercise, undertaken in 2020, aimed to increase understanding of the currently available and collected in-country livestock activity data for Tier 2 estimates of livestock emissions. 

“The data collection exercise is an important first step in helping African countries improve estimates of national livestock emissions and mitigation at Tier 2 levels and decision-support for achieving NDCs and tracking NDC performance in the livestock sector”, says Hayden Montgomery, GRA Special Representative.

The results of the data collection and analysis suggest high potential to pilot a regional inventory development approach, particularly in southern Africa. For the majority countries, data availability will still be a challenge, and collecting all the missing data may not be feasible in the short run.

A temporary solution could be to systematically group countries with similar production systems, and informed by data where available, develop a regional template for livestock GHG inventories, which can be adapted to national conditions, validated, and adopted by stakeholders in each country. This could support countries to move from Tier 1 MRV methods to Tier 2 methods which are better able to reflect actual production conditions and their impact on GHG emissions.

February 22, 2021   •   News

This first round of RUFORUM awards has been announced and will support participatory action research and training on topics related to the measurement and management of greenhouse gas emissions and removals in pastoral and agro-pastoral ruminant livestock farming systems in Africa.

Eight award recipients from universities in Benin, DR Congo, Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda were announced in November 2020. These awardees are currently working on agricultural greenhouse gas mitigation research projects, specifically on soil organic carbon, methane and nitrous oxide emissions, manure management, livestock fodder value chains and feed balances, modelling of grassland biome, and quantification of above ground and ground biomass.

Each award will support a Principal Investigator (an individual senior lecturer of a RUFORUM member university) and training of at least two Master of Science students (one of whom should be a female) for two years.

Supporting the development of capability in African universities will be crucial to support Africa to respond to the goals established by the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as national and regional priorities of African States.

“Addressing the global challenges of climate change and food security through science, technology and innovation as aspired in the African Union Agenda 2063 requires achieving a critical mass of well-educated citizens with requisite skills to revolutionise production and delivery of goods and services”. Prof Adipala Ekwamu, RUFORUM Executive Secretary

These were the words of Prof Adipala Ekwamu, RUFORUM Executive Secretary, during the launch of the GRA-RUFORUM Graduate Research Grants aimed at providing opportunity for quality research on topical issues while training the next generation of scientists for Africa.

As part of their contribution to addressing the global challenges of climate change, the Governments of New Zealand and the Netherlands have funded eight GRA-Graduate Research Grants through a Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) awards programme.

RUFORUM is a consortium of 129 Universities in 38 African countries with the mission to strengthen the capacities of universities to foster innovations responsive to the demands of small-holder farmers (www.ruforum.org).

For the long-term advancement of the GRA-RUFORM awards programme, it is hoped and indeed necessary that more GRA partner institutions and countries join the Government’s of New Zealand, the Netherlands and RUFORUM to support participatory action research and training in Africa.

For more information on this programme, please contact Dr. Ackim Mwape via email [email protected] or [email protected]