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UNGA78: Climate-smart approaches to enhance ruminant/livestock production efficiency and food production systems

September 14, 2023 @ 4:00 am 6:30 am EDT

This virtual session is part of the Science Summit at UNGA78.

Climate-smart Approaches to enhance Ruminant/Livestock production efficiency and Food production systems

The state of Africa’s livestock agriculture and its vulnerability to climate risk is an ongoing matter of importance, not only for the continent but also for the global world. Climate change is a reality that will result in higher temperatures and more extreme events such as droughts, floods, higher temperatures and more heat waves, which will affect the wellbeing and stability on the continent and the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals. In the case of livestock in tropical and sub-tropical African countries this will result in (1) a decrease in production (meat and milk), (2) lower fertility (in both males and females) that will affect reproduction, (2) more diseases, especially the host transmittable diseases and (4) lower quality of the grazing. In these African countries, climate change represents a feedback-loop in which livestock production both contributes to climate change and suffers from the consequences. That is why adaptation, resilience and mitigation strategies are critical for sustainability.  This is in contrast to developed countries in temperate regions where the focus is mainly on mitigation.

This session will highlight some of the climate-smart approaches, food production systems and climate responses that are essential in terms of required actions/interventions from the United Nations and at a global level to prioritize agricultural research and involvement of farmers in terms of agenda setting and related investments.

The speakers will highlight the need for evidence-based decisions around complex issues related to climate change, with relevant indicators. Therefore, science becomes a fundamental part to enhance resilience of people, production and food systems. This makes relationships between scientists, collaborating regions, farmers and farmer’s organizations important.

Programme (2h30min)

  • Opening remarks (5 min): Dr Andrew Magadlela (Group Executive: Animal Sciences, ARC); 
  • Welcome and Introduction (10 min): Prof Azwihangwisi Maiwashe (General Manager: ARC-Animal Production); 
  • Presentation (20 min): Dr. Ackim Mwape (New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre);  Overview of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases and partnerships in Africa.
  • Presentation (20 min): Dr Claudia Arndt (ILRI, Kenya);  Current State of Research on Livestock GHG Emissions and Mitigation in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Presentation (20 min): Prof Machiel Scholtz: (ARC-Animal Production, South Africa);  Climate-smart research: Current and planned projects, challenges and opportunities for southern-Africa.
  • Presentation (15 min): Dr Sithembile Ndemi Mwamakamba (FANRPAN); Analysis of policy for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  • Presentation (15 min): Ms Minky Groenewald (Eswatini); An overview of NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions) in southern African and the role of farmers organizations.
  • Panel discussion (20 min)
  • Closure (10 min): Prof M Makgahlela (Research Team Manager: Animal Breeding and Genetics, ARC-Animal Production)