FAO report: technical options for mitigating GHG emissions in livestock

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has released a report on technical options for the mitigation of non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions livestock production. The report, titled 'Mitigation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Livestock Production: A Review of Technical Options for non-CO2 Emissions,' provides a review of over 900 publications focusing on feeding, manure management, breeding and animal husbandry strategies (including the use of rbST and animal genetics) to reduce emissions of methane and nitrous oxide nitrous oxide.

The report concludes the following:

Overall, improving forage quality and the overall efficiency of dietary nutrient use is an effective way of decreasing GHG emissions per unit of animal product. Several feed supplements have a potential to reduce enteric CH4 emission from ruminants, although their long-term effect has not been well-established and some are toxic or may not be economically viable in developing countries. Several manure management practices have a significant potential for decreasing GHG emissions from manure storage and after application or deposition on soil. Interactions among individual components of livestockproduction systems are very complex, but must be considered when recommending GHG mitigation practices. One practice may successfully mitigate enteric CH4 emission, but increase fermentable substrate for increased GHG emissions from stored or land applied manure. Some mitigation practices are synergistic and are expected to decrease both enteric and manure GHG emissions (for example, improved animal health and animal productivity). Optimizing animal productivity can be a very successful strategy for mitigating GHG emissions from the livestock sector in both developed and developing countries.

Citation as follows: FAO (2013). Mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions in livestock production: A review of technical options for non-CO2 emissions. Paper 177. Food and Agriculture Organisation, Rome.

For the press release and link to the report see here.


02 Jul 2013
Research trails