The European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2018 is co-organising a session with the Global Research Alliance that is dedicated to peatland management. Contributions from experimental and modelling work from different aspects (e.g biogeochemistry, vegetation ecology and socioeconomy) as well as work addressing policy implementation of management practices are welcomed.
The use of organic soils is heavily debated in some countries but receives too little attention in others, and political challenges related to the use of organic soil differ greatly between countries. This is an opportunity to raise awareness on peatlands and provide a platform for discussions.
The abstract submission is open and deadline for the receipt of abstracts is 10 Jan 2018, 13:00 CET. More information about submissions can be found here
Session ID: BG 3.20
Session title: Environment-friendly management of organic soils and paludiculture – from innovation to implementation
Session description: Globally, 10–20% of peatlands have been drained for agriculture or forestry, and these emit 6% of global CO2 emissions. There are countries in Europe that have more than 60% of their agricultural emissions originating from cultivated organic soils, and the fate of South-East Asian peatlands is of global concern. However, there are peat-rich countries that are unable to include these emissions in their emission statistics due to lack of data. Innovative mitigation measures that sustain economically viable biomass production while diminishing environmental impacts and supporting ecosystem services of organic soils are vigorously studied. How to implement innovations in practice and into national GHG inventories is a challenge. We invite studies addressing new, innovative management practices on organic soils. We also welcome contributions that address policy coherence and identify policy instruments for initiating and implementing new management practices on organic soils.
Session conveners: Hanna Silvennoinen, Jens Leifeld, Kristiina Regina, Bärbel Tiemeyer, Jagadeesh Yeluripati
For unanswered questions, please contact Hanna Silvennoinen ([email protected]).
The Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institute, Germany has a vacancy for a Scientific assistant for six months that would undertake soil-vegetation modelling contributing to an European Research Area Network – Monitoring and Mitigation of GHGs from Agri- and Silvi- culture (ERA-GAS) project ‘Mitigating Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions by improved pH management of soils’ (MAGGE-pH).
Applications are open until 10th December 2017 – see the position description to apply for this opportunity.
The Livestock Information, Sector Analysis and Policy Branch of the Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO-AGAL) is currently looking for a candidate interested in contributing towards the development of its GLEAM (Global Livestock Environmental Assessment Model). The new developments will focus on improving the current model and expanding its scope.
The position is for a Senior Visiting Scientist for a period of one year (with possibility of extension) based at the FAO headquarters in Rome.
For more information, please contact Carolyn Opio: [email protected]
In a recent study, the yearly nutritional and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions impacts of eliminating animals from United States agriculture were quantified. Modelling estimated that agricultural GHG emissions would decrease by 28%, but that the resulting nutritional profile of a plant-based diet would would be inadequate for US citizens.
Developing countries require systems for measurement, reporting and verification of livestock greenhouse gas emissions that can capture emissions reductions linked to productivity.
Agriculture directly contributes 10-12% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, 60% of which come from livestock (enteric fermentation and manure). Emissions from agriculture are likely to increase as developing countries seek to ensure food security for their growing populations and as trends toward increased meat consumption continue.
Ninety-two countries include livestock in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to climate change mitigation. However, many countries cannot document livestock emission reductions through productivity gains and more efficient farm management because of simple reporting systems and insufficient data. As countries begin to implement their NDCs, there is strong interest and need to improve methods for measuring, reporting and verifying (MRV) emission reductions in the livestock sector.
In response to countries’ interest and with input from technical experts from dozens of countries, UNIQUE Forestry and Land Use, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the Livestock Research Group of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA) authored the report, ‘Measurement, reporting and verification of livestock GHG emissions by developing countries in the UNFCCC: Current practices and opportunities for improvement’, to be released at COP23.
“Our research found that of 140 countries interviewed, only five have MRV methods in place that can capture reductions in livestock emissions related to increases in productivity or improvements in agricultural management practices”, lead author Andreas Wilkes, UNIQUE Forestry and Land Use, said.
Harry Clark, Co-chair of the GRA’s Livestock Research Group and Director of the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre, commented, “This is a major concern for countries who are working hard to meet climate goals while at the same time ensuring food security, rural development and livelihoods. Improving the productivity of livestock systems and increasing resource use efficiency is a critical entry point that can help achieve all of these objectives, but current reporting systems can’t capture these achievements.”
The paper describes basic requirements for MRV as established in the UNFCCC and the IPCC and then assesses current MRV practices for livestock emissions in 140 developing countries.
“Countries are innovating in exciting ways that reflect their own policy priorities. Sharing these innovations will help other countries identify pathways for improving their own systems”, said Lini Wollenberg, leader of the CCAFS Low Emissions Development research program based at the University of Vermont’s Gund Institute for Environment. “Key challenges are a lack of data and expertise and uncertainty about how to fill data gaps and best build capacity in key institutions”.
The report makes a number of practical recommendations to help address these issues. These include:
- Document and share examples of the approaches countries have taken in developing Tier 2 inventories, specifically, and improving their MRV systems in general
- Enable regional sharing of MRV experiences
- Provide resources to build countries’ capacities for inventory compilation, including strengthening institutional arrangements
- Review current Tier 2 approaches to clarify how different methodological approaches have evolved over time
- Improving understanding of the interaction between policy goals, MRV design and specific data needs
- Compare methods for data collection on livestock populations, herd structure, feed intake and livestock performance
- Develop specific guidance on uncertainty analysis, how to deal with data gaps, transparency and quality assurance/quality control
- Support piloting and testing of MRV systems at the national and sub-national levels
The GRA and CCAFS are now working together with partner countries and other organisations such as the FAO, the UN Environment Programme’s Climate and Clean Air Coalition, and the World Bank to implement the report’s findings.
Download the report: Wilkes, A, Reisinger A, Wollenberg E, van Dijk S. 2017. Measurement, reporting and verification of livestock GHG emissions by developing countries in the UNFCCC: Current practices and opportunities for improvement. Please note that the full report will also be published in French and Spanish later this year.
For media interview and enquiries, please contact:
- GRA: Andy Reisinger / +64 21 613 125 / [email protected]
- CCAFS: Julianna White / +1 802 777 7017 / [email protected]
- UNIQUE Forestry & Land Use: Andreas Wilkes (lead author) / [email protected]
Photo credit: N. Palmer, CIAT
At a 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) side event in Bonn, Germany yesterday with the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, the Global Research Alliance’s Special Representative Hayden Montgomery argued that more innovation was needed to combat agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.
His argument is supported by the 2016 article ‘Reducing emissions from agriculture to meet the 2°C target’, published in Global Change Biology. The article summarises the findings of a number of scientists, including Global Research Alliance representatives, which showed that current technologies can only reduce 20-40% of the agricultural emission reductions needed in order to meet the international 2 degree greenhouse gas emissions target which was agreed to by 100 countries in Paris in 2015.