Sustainable Intesification Of Ruminant Livestock Production

 Cows, sheep and goats generate roughly half of all emissions from the agricultural production process, and expansion of pasture to feed them has led to roughly half of all conversion of forests, and savannas in the last fifty years.  Livestock systems that feed animals better and provide better healthcare generate far fewer greenhouse gas emissions for each liter of milk or kilogram of meat.   Management improvements are also possible for many of the world’s wetter pastures to support more animals and generate more milk and meat per hectare, reducing demand for new land conversion.  This guidance provides information on the means of improving ruminant livestock production in different systems around the world and consists of three primary elements:

  1. The project is developing a spatial, web-based tool -- part of this site --  to describe existing ruminant livestock systems around the world and the means and realistic potential for improvement.  The information provided by different agricultural zones in each country includes the greenhouse gas emissions per liter of milk or kilogram of meat, and the technical potential to increase output from each hectare and from each animal and to reduce those emissions.  The level of detail varies based on available information, which also highlights gaps in knowledge.  The project itself is developing additional information to provide detailed analysis of Colombia, Rwanda and Vietnam.  Experts on livestock systems and pasture around the world are invited to join the project, and to refine the information for other countries with full acknowledgment of their contributions. Click here to get to the Sustainable Intensification Decision Support System (Sidess). You will need to be a registered user get access to this tool.
  2. The project is developing develop strategic plans for improvements to livestock productivity in Colombia, Rwanda and Vietnam.  They are intended to serve as models for development elsewhere of strategic plans including Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Activity plans.
  3. The project is developing step-by-step guidance for how countries or other organizations can develop their own strategic plans for livestock improvements and to quantify the potential gains and to identify practicable means of verification.