[FAO] National climate actions cannot ignore the livestock sector

[FAO] Sustainable livestock systems can be a major player in the fight against climate change, poverty and food insecurity. By addressing climate change in the livestock sector, countries can do their part to achieve the Paris Agreement’s long-term objectives, while building more sustainable, resilient and climate-friendly agrifood systems.

Much still needs to be done to reach the Paris Agreements’s goal of limiting the rise of average global temperatures below 2 °C and preferably 1.5 °C. The latest FAO’s global update report on nationally determined contributions (NDC) showed that only 36 percent of countries included livestock-related mitigation interventions in their recent NDC and 55 percent indicated livestock systems as a priority area for adaptation measures in the agricultural sector.

Adaptation and mitigation interventions need to be aligned with national policies and plans in order to be effectively actionable and produce concrete results. Yet, many countries have communicated finance, technology development and transfer, and capacity building needs to improve the effectiveness of NDC planning and implementation across all sectors, including livestock. They also highlighted the lack of domestic systems to track adaptation and mitigation progress in a transparent and consistent way.

FAO’s response was no long in coming. During the first session of the Committee on Agriculture (COAG)’s Sub-Committee on Livestock, Members requested FAO to support countries to integrate effective and actionable livestock-related mitigation and adaptation targets into their national climate actions and policies, conduct capacity-building programmes and improve greenhouse gas emissions reporting and assessments.