A new research paper published by scientists of the Mazingira Centre (‘mazingira’ means ‘environment’ in Swahili) of the Nairobi-based International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) reports evidence that greenhouse gas emissions from dung patches in developing countries are ‘likely highly overestimated’ in global livestock emissions estimates.
ILRI was honoured this week (3 Sep 2018) to host a high-level German delegation including Maria Flachsbarth, parliamentary state secretary to Germany’s federal minister for economic cooperation and development, and Stefan Schmitz, deputy director of the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), as well as senior staff of the Kenya Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation, including Andrew Tuimur, chief administrative secretary, and Ann Onyango, agriculture secretary; and representatives from several other CGIAR centres working in Kenya, including Tony Simons, director general of ICRAF, and representatives from the Nairobi-based International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe).
Food systems must be transformed to produce more nutritious food with a lower environmental footprint. There are a number of initiatives around the world working towards this end. Here are just five that use different kinds of science—from smart approaches to breeding livestock and crops to recycling wastewater—that could help humans settle their growing debt to the planet.
The implementation of effective mitigation strategies relies on accurate GHG emission data. But what if the underlying assumptions upon which these GHG emission estimates are based are inaccurate?
In 2015–2016, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and partners revealed extraordinary findings that the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cattle in Kenya maybe up to 10 times lower than previous estimates, clearly making the case for improving Africa-specific understanding of GHG emissions to develop better-targeted climate change mitigation and adaption strategies.
What might seem like a silver bullet to reduce greenhouse gas emissions risks undermining other development goals such as ending hunger, improving health and eliminating poverty. We cannot ignore the important role that animal-source foods play, especially in developing countries, when we talk about tackling climate change. Instead we need to find a middle ground.
Greenhouse gases emitted by Kenyan cattle excreta are found to be much lower than estimates derived from models in industrialized countries.