CCAFS / Climate Change / East Africa / Environment / Livestock Systems / LIVESTOCKCRP / Mazingira

Managing the environmental footprint of livestock: Context-specific information needed in Africa

Mazingira Centre

Climate change and its associated global warming, represents one of the greatest challenges on the planet today. It is also one of the most serious threats faced by millions of Africa’s farmers. Agricultural activities including both livestock and crop production, account for approximately 14% of global greenhouse gases (GHG) that are generated by human activity.

In African countries, agricultural GHG emissions often contribute more than 30% to the national GHG inventory. The majority of these agricultural GHG emissions are generated by livestock through digestive processes that decompose and ferment food (enteric fermentation); and manure management. The rest of the agricultural GHG emissions are caused by deforestation and associated soil carbon losses. There are concerted efforts globally (for instance under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement) to reduce the environmental footprint of all sectors including agriculture and particularly livestock-associated GHG emissions, and Africa has not been left behind.

According to Lutz Merbold, a researcher…

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