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August 6, 2020   •   News

Agriculture and land use sector play an essential role in climate change mitigation and adaptation, but there are technical, institutional and capacity barriers that make them more difficult to quantify, evaluate, monitor and report on, with respect to other sectors. As countries are preparing to raise their ambition in the new round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), it is of utmost importance that they can rely on tools and capacity development to capture their efforts in the AFOLU sector.

Project inception workshop, FAO headquarters, March 2019. Photo credit Mirella Salvatore.

Under the Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), FAO launched the CBIT-AFOLU programme to support countries in meeting the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) requirements. The programme consists of both a global and 10 national CBIT-AFOLU projects. The national projects – namely Mongolia, Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Cuba and Nicaragua – aim at addressing the capacity gaps and needs in terms of transparency. The global project focuses on producing ETF-enhanced global products, such as tools, guidance, training packages and e-learnings, to support the national CBIT-AFOLU projects and 13 pilot countries, along three main pillars: Institutional Arrangements, Measuring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E).

Pilot countries have a pivotal role in the project, as their inputs are crucial to validate and refine a series of products while stimulating country-level capacities strengthening through their use. The global project involves countries from different regions of the world, namely Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Mali, Senegal, Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe in Africa, Myanmar and China in Asia and Colombia and Uruguay in Latin America. The identification of the pilot countries took place in two phases, the first one during the project preparation in 2017/2018 to assess the countries’ eligibility, and a second one during the inception phase in 2019, exploring countries’ interest to participate in transparency-related activities. The selection process took into consideration several aspects, from the GHG profile to the NDC pledges. To build commitment and trust, the pilot countries were asked to identify CBIT-AFOLU focal points, with a specific role and responsibilities.

In order to receive tailored support, pilot countries participated in a survey to identify the main gaps and needs to be addressed. For each component, the survey provided an understanding of which areas need the most support, which tools are the most used, and their initial feedback on their usage. Based on the results of the survey and on countries’ preferences, the implementing team facilitated individual exchanges, to familiarize with the country team and develop together country-specific work plans.

As the project activities unroll, countries will be asked to test and provide feedback on some ‘ETF-ready’ products, and at the same time they will receive specific training to enhance capacity on their usage. By addressing country views, the usability of the ETF-enhanced global products at larger scale will be ensured allowing the dissemination to a wider audience of countries and transparency practitioners.

Project inception workshop, FAO headquarters, March 2019. Photo credit Mirella Salvatore.

The project will also facilitate the establishment of a network of AFOLU transparency practitioners, where they can share their experiences and best practices, and learn from each other through a virtual exchange, in collaboration with other partner agencies and organizations. Beyond the expected outcomes of the project, the implementation of these activities is already bringing beneficial results, mainly related to the development of new processes of mapping countries’ needs, aligning tools to country requests and identifying the best modalities to deliver an effective and sustainable capacity development. Such achievements are particularly important in light of the limitations arising from COVID-19 global outbreak, and they are already being put in practice in an effort to replicate and upscale the process in other projects and countries.

August 4, 2020   •   News

Dr. Stephen Ogle, Colorado State University, CO, USA

The Agriculture and Land Use National Greenhouse Gas Inventory software, or ALU, was developed by Dr. Stephen Ogle and colleagues at Colorado State University starting in 2005 as part of a capacity building project in Central America.  Dr. Ogle was at that time an author on the 2006 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories.  He understood very well the complexity of conducting a greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory for the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector, and wanted to find a way to help compilers with the task.  He envisioned that a software package could manage activity data in a relational database with an interface that had automated features to guide the compiler through the inventory process and identify errors. In turn, this could improve the transparency and application of methods in the IPCC Guidelines, help the compiler avoid errors, and facilitate the use of good practices established by the IPCC. 

The US Agency for International Development and US Environmental Protection Agency agreed with this vision and ALU was born. These agencies have continued to fund enhancements to the software over the last 15 years, such as generating emission reports, quantifying uncertainty, importing spatial data on land use from geographic information systems, incorporating enhanced characterizations for livestock to derive country-specific emission factors, and projecting GHG mitigation potentials.

ALU is designed to guide the inventory compiler through the process of compiling activity data about human actions influencing GHG emissions, assigning default or country-specific emission factors, which are the rates of emissions per unit of the activity, and applying the IPCC equations to calculate emissions.  In addition, ALU emphasizes conducting a complete inventory for the AFOLU sector with consistent methods across the time series, quantifying uncertainty in emissions estimates, following quality control and quality assurance procedures, as well as documenting and archiving the inventory data.  All of these steps are integral to IPCC good practice guidance for GHG inventories.

The application of ALU has helped inventory compilers to better understand and apply IPCC inventory methods in many countries throughout Central and South America, Africa and Asia, through a variety of capacity building projects funded by the US government, UNFCCC and other partners.  Further, some countries have used the software for reporting their emissions to the UN Framework Convention Climate Change (UNFCCC), or in some cases as an independent check on the reported emissions.  For example, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has used the software to compile the inventory for their last Biennial Update Report and are currently working with Dr. Ogle to further enhance their capacity to apply ALU for their next GHG inventory.

After 15 years, you might think that Dr. Ogle and his team would be ready to move onto other activities, but they still have a strong desire to help countries improve their GHG inventories as the global community struggles with ways to deal with climate change.  While a fully operational version of ALU is freely available, ALU is also being re-envisioned by the team to develop the next version of the software.  The goal is to make ALU more user-friendly, expand the GHG mitigation analyses, and incorporate refinements to the inventory methods developed by the IPCC, such as those found in the 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines report.  These, and other enhancements to ALU, are being developed to make the compiler’s job easier to produce a high quality GHG inventory that is transparent, accurate, consistent, comparable and complete in support of climate change negotiations, policy development and implementation. 

For more information, or to download a free copy of the ALU software, visit here and register to become a member of the ALU software community.

July 30, 2020   •   Events

18/08/2020 - 28/08/2020

Online

congreso@aapresid.org.ar

Register here

July 29, 2020   •   News

The Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Peru are seeking three candidates for a research project funded by World Bank, ‘Defining the most fit dairy cattle genetics for profitable, resilient and environment
friendly high altitude Andean small-holder systems’. 

Click here for more information about the positions and research project.

For further information please contact: Dr. Victor Vélez ([email protected]) and Dr. Cesar Pinares ([email protected])

Applications deadline 30 September 2020

July 27, 2020   •   Events

13/01/2021 - 16/01/2021

Berlin, Germany

Click here for more information

July 27, 2020   •   News

The Greenhouse Gas Management Institute (GHGMI), in partnership with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is happy to notify you of the opportunity to receive a certificate as an expert in the IPCC Guidelines. The UNFCCC has arranged for two or more (2+) individuals per non-Annex I country to receive full tuition funding for this online training.

This course series provides extensive training on greenhouse gas (GHG) emission sources and estimation methodologies based on the international 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National GHG Inventories (Including the 2013 IPCC Wetlands Supplement).

More information on the curriculum is available here

If you are interested in this opportunity, you will need to take two steps:

1) Roster of Experts Registration: If you are not already registered within the UNFCCC roster of experts, you will need to self-nominate yourself. You may do so here by first creating a user-account and then proceeding in filling out a self-nomination form here.

Click here to view the the Roster of Experts Survival Guidance document, instructions for self-nomination.

Should you need assistance, see instructions above, or email directly to the UNFCCC at: [email protected]

2) Contact Your Focal Point: Contact your country’s UNFCCC focal point no later than July 30, 2020. With the specific request, “Please consider my expert nomination for enrolment for Certification in the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National GHG Inventories.”

Again, enrolment is free of cost to you. This new program is a special opportunity to become a global expert in GHG accounting. As your national focal point will be submitting 2+ nominations to the UNFCCC. Not all interested individuals will receive a nomination slot.

If you need additional information related to the IPCC course series training, please contact Erika Barnett at [email protected].

July 23, 2020   •   News

Please see the webinar series details in the following news items

As part of our continuing commitment to supporting developing countries to enhance their scientific capability and institutional capacity to estimate and track agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, we are pleased to present Progressing Partnerships – a three-part capacity building webinar series to provide advice, technical assistance and training to existing and new member countries of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA), particularly from Africa.

Register for webinar 1 HERE

Register for webinar 2 HERE

Register for webinar 3 HERE

Each webinar will feature topical experts currently working with various science networks and provide an opportunity to learn about on-going research activities for reducing agricultural GHG emissions in each of the GRA’s four Research Groups (Croplands (CRG), Paddy Rice (PRRG), Livestock (LRG) and Integrative (IRG).  Expert facilitators will share their personal experiences in working with different stakeholders from both developed and developing countries, answer your questions, and highlight further opportunities for research collaboration provided by the GRA and other related science networks.  The webinar series will also create opportunities for valuable knowledge sharing and peer learning by drawing on good practice examples of relevant GRA programmes in different countries and regions.

If you are intending to engage with the GRA, and if you would like to be part of important science networks on agricultural GHG emissions, you are welcome to participate in the Progressing Partnerships webinar series.

July 23, 2020   •   News

This webinar will highlight the importance of international collaborations in addressing the challenges of agricultural emissions reductions in the context of food security, poverty reduction and sustainable development, in particular the role of the GRA in this context.

The webinar will provide information on the overall objectives, activities and strategies employed by the GRA in its efforts to address agricultural greenhouse gas emissions globally.  The webinar will provide information necessary to support member countries to identify opportunities for research collaboration to implement and advance the agricultural greenhouse gas research and development agenda.

Register for the webinar here

Date: Wednesday, 5th August 2020 (9 – 10am UTC)

PresentersAgency
Relevance of the Global Research AllianceHayden MontgomerySpecial Representative, Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases
International collaborations on reducing greenhouse gasesBob Turnock

Edward Yeboah

Eugenia Saini
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

CSIR-Soil Research Institute Ghana


Regional Fund for Agricultural Technology (FONTAGRO)
July 23, 2020   •   News

This webinar will provide an opportunity for participants to learn about the operations and future directions of the four Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA) Research Groups and associated science networks of the GRA. The webinar will highlight the activities and Flagship Projects undertaken by each Group to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, the webinar will highlight the benefits of active engagement in the research groups, the opportunities provided through their networks and how member countries can effectively participate.

Register for the webinar here

Date: Wednesday, 19 August 2020 (9 – 10am UTC)

PresentersAgency
Strengthening actions for collaboration in global agricultural mitigation research through science networksJeroen Dijkman (Webinar chair and Co-Chair of LRG)

María Rosa Mosquera Losada (Co-Chair of CRG)

Laure Tall (Co-Chair of PRRG)

Jean-Francois Soussana (Co-Chair of IRG)
New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre


University of Santiago de compostela



Senegalese Agricultural Research Institute – ISRA

National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE, France)
July 23, 2020   •   News

The third webinar will present an example of practical methods for compiling livestock greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Tier 2 approach and showcase good practices from the development of a Tier 2 GHG emissions inventory for the dairy sector in Kenya.

The webinar will draw on the recent publication Livestock Activity Data Guidance (L-ADG), published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA) to improve understanding on the steps involved in compiling livestock GHG inventories.

The webinar will also draw on practical challenges and lessons learnt from the development of a Tier 2 GHG inventory for the dairy sector in Kenya.  This will provide other countries (intending to develop Tier 2 GHG inventories in the livestock sector) with tools and improved understanding of how to mobilise, inter alia, in-country support for GHG inventory development.

Register for the webinar here

Date: Wednesday 23rd September 2020 (9 – 10am UTC)

PresentersAgency
Practical methods for compiling livestock GHG inventories using the Tier 2 approachAndreas WilkesUNIQUE Forestry and Land Use
Experiences from the development of a Tier 2 GHG emissions inventory for the dairy sector in KenyaBenjamin Kibor

Robin Mbae
Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry and Fisheries (MAAIF), Kenya