The main topic of the meeting was how to produce beef and milk using sustainable methods, without depleting such resources as soil or water, and reducing gas emissions.
Photo: Cows fitted with greenhouse gas emission devices used for research in Chile
(Washington, D.C., April 12, 2017) On April 12, 2017, the launching of the “Sustainable Livestock Production Platform: Greater Productivity with Lower Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions” took place in Washington D.C. The introductory meeting was coordinated by the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) in collaboration with the Government of New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (known as the Global Research Alliance or GRA), and FONTAGRO. Researchers from national and international institutions, attended the meeting.
The platform’s main objective is to establish partnerships with key stakeholders to sustainably intensify livestock production systems as a regional research strategy to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change in Latin America and the Caribbean. The platform will coordinate a regional agenda on the topic. It will also share knowledge and build the capacities of farmers and key stakeholders in the public and private sector regarding the subject.
To implement a common agenda, the platform will also contribute to the preparation and dissemination of policies, as well as mobilization of resources. Beneficiaries of this project are more than 150 researchers; 400 extension workers and professionals; more than 1,000 students; more than 10 producer organizations; and decision-makers at national and regional organizations.
During the meeting, agreements were reached to establish a three-year action plan, and the knowledge management and communications strategy. The platform will also help mobilize resources for a common research and innovation agenda, as well as identify ongoing projects and initiatives carried out by participating organizations, which have promising results that may be replicated.
The platform will be open to the integration of other stakeholders from the private sector and NGOs that work on the subject.
ORGANIZATION AND FINANCING
The organizing committee comprises representatives from CATIE, the Government of New Zealand’s MPI, GRA, Uruguay’s National Agricultural Research Institute (INIA), Costa Rica’s National Institute for Agricultural Innovation and Technology Transfer (INTA), Peru’s Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), and FONTAGRO, among others.
The platform’s initial funding stems from an agreement entered between FONTAGRO and MPI aimed at capacity building for measuring GHGs in agricultural systems in Latin America, as well as from a project on “Mechanisms and Networks for Technology Transfer Related to Climate Change in Latin America and the Caribbean” implemented by FONTAGRO and funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
Photo: Introductory meeting in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim, PhD, CATIE’s Director General, underscored “the effective use of resources and the exchange of knowledge with countries that are more advanced on the subject” as important aspects for participating in the platform.
GRA’s representative Dr. Hayden Montgomery stated that “a coordinated regional agenda on researching the effect of greenhouse gases on livestock production will enable countries to be more effective, share experiences in their own languages, and better reach farmers and decision-makers.”
At the end of the event, Dr. Hugo Li Pun, Executive Secretary of FONTAGRO, concluded that “coordination among organizations, especially with GRA’s participation, will generate many more benefits for participating countries.”
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FONTAGRO Joins the Global Research Alliance (GRA) on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases
The Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) is an international university that is geared toward agricultural innovation development and natural resource management. It combines higher education, strategic training through short courses for professionals and producers, and research and technical cooperation with partners throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, to expand the impact of products generated by the institution. Through its Livestock and Environmental Management Program (GAMMA), CATIE is the regional leader in developing sustainable, climate-smart livestock production models for strengthening the livelihoods of rural families, based on silvopastoral systems and best management practices to prevent or reverse grazing degradation; water management; and integrated manure management.
The Global Research Alliance brings together countries that are interested in growing more food without growing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture. It was established in December 2009 and it has 46 member countries from all regions of the world. The GRA is focused on the research, development, and expansion of technologies and practices that help food production become resilient to climate change.
FONTAGRO is a unique regional cooperation mechanism that promotes family farming innovation, competitiveness, and food security. It was established in 1998 and it includes fifteen member countries that have contributed a capital of some $100 million. FONTAGRO is sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA). Its Technical Administrative Secretariat is based at IDB headquarters in Washington, D.C. FONTAGRO has cofinanced more than 100 projects and initiatives in its member countries for an approximate amount of $88.7 million, including contributions from other sources of funding and executing agencies. Its member countries are Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
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