About

Our Agriculture Initiative supports countries to identify increasingly ambitious actions, policies and targets across the food system.

Guided by a priority to enhance food security and livelihoods, we demonstrate solutions to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) that deliver quick benefits for the climate and air quality.

There are many practical options that improve resilience while reducing emissions in the agriculture, forest and land use and sector, and there are economic, environmental and social co-benefits that can accompany more ambitious immediate action.

- Qu Dongyu, FAO Director-General, at the CCAC 2019 High Level Assembly

WHY WE DO THIS WORK

Agriculture contributes around 11% of total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. With land-use change, this rises to around 25%. 

The effects of a changing climate are already negatively impacting agricultural production, increasing hunger and hurting farmers.

Transforming the agriculture sector, and our global food system, to emit less and be more resilient is critical to ensuring food security and preserving the livelihoods of millions of farmers and food workers.

HOW WE WORK

Our work ultimately aims to raise ambition in 2030 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to include actions to reduce agricultural SLCP emissions. (The practices we promote for this are below.)

To get there, we are building a group of leaders in the field and raising awareness about the actions that can be taken now.

We assist countries with tools and capacity-building to identify increasingly ambitious actions, policies and targets, while also supporting strengthened coordination at the national level.

To unlock the potential for scale-up, we work to marshall evidence that enables financing for large-scale climate impact.

The CCAC’s Agriculture Initiative can assist partners to set ambitious but realistic targets for their agricultural emissions.

- Aupito William Sio, New Zealand's Minister for Pacific Peoples, at the 2019 CCAC High Level Assembly

Top facts

The agriculture and forestry sectors* contribute around 24% of all global greenhouse gas emissions (*including land use change)
The agriculture sector is responsible for around 40% of global black carbon and anthropogenic methane emissions
Bold action to reduce short-lived climate pollutant emissions could avoid 52 million tonnes of staple crop losses annually by 2030

Factsheets

Objectives

In order to raise ambition in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) we showcase best practices to reduce agricultural methane and black carbon emissions. 

THE PRACTICES WE PROMOTE

  • Enable increased productivity from livestock products while reducing methane (from enteric fermentation) per unit of product
  • Save water and reduce methane from paddy rice production
  • Reduce or capture methane as a resource from livestock manure
  • Offer alternatives to agricultural burning that will reduce black carbon emissions

ADDITIONAL BENEFITS

In addition to helping reduce the rate of near-term warming, these practices can provide immediate benefits for public health, food security and economic development.

Many of the practices will also lead to increased agricultural productivity, and contribute to the implementation of countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). That means they are also aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and low-emissions agricultural development.

Activities

Description of activities

Workstream | Agriculture
Ongoing
Enteric fermentation is a natural part of the digestive process in ruminant animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, and buffalo. Microbes in the digestive tract, or rumen, decompose and ferment food,...
Ruminant production and enteric methane
Workstream | Agriculture
Ongoing
Poor manure management practices are common on much of the world’s farms, as farmers lack awareness about the value of livestock manure as a fertilizer and fuel. Manure is often disposed of in piles...
Manure management
Workstream | Agriculture
Ongoing
Paddy rice is a staple crop for much of the world’s population. It is also a key source of the greenhouse gas methane, responsible for about 40 million tonnes, or 10% of global emissions , each year...
Paddy rice production
Workstream | Agriculture
Ongoing
Farmers in many parts of the world set fire to cultivated fields to clear stubble, weeds and waste before sowing a new crop. While this practice may be fast and economical, it is highly unsustainable...
Open agricultural burning

Progress & Success

Our Agriculture Initiative started in 2013, with activities in four focus areas starting in 2014 (enteric, rice, manure, burning).

In 2019 work started to help countries enhance agricultural climate action in their NDCs. > Read about our recent Oct 2019 meeting here

LIVESTOCK ENTERIC FERMENTATION

Making the right choices in major World Bank and GEF investments 

In collaboration with the FAO, World Bank and Global Environment Facility, the initiative is supporting three large national livestock management programmes with more than $460 million in Uruguay, Ethiopia and Bangladesh. The programmes incorporate mitigation options for the livestock sector assessed by the initiative and have the potential to reduce approximately 4 million tonnes of methane per annum. > Read Uruguay's story

To make this case we funded work to show how low-cost strategies to reduce enteric methane emissions can contribute to short- and long-term social and economic development, as well as climate action. This uses the FAO's model "GLEAM."

Readily available practices in livestock feeding and manure management, and better use of technology like biogas generators, could help the sector cut the output of greenhouse gases by up to 30% immediately. So low carbon livestock is not only possible, it’s possible now.

- José Graziano da Silva, former FAO Director-General, at the CCAC 2017 High Level Assembly 

SUSTAINABLE RICE PRODUCTION

Policies and finance, plus training paddy rice farmers, to save water and reduce methane

With IRRI and UNEP, the initiative supports Bangladesh, Colombia, Thailand and Vietnam to encourage uptake of sustainable rice production methods, through policies, access to finance, and training of farmers.

Vietnam is taking decisive steps to achieve a low-carbon rice production as a part of our NDC.

- Chu Van Chuong, Deputy Director-General, Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture, at the CCAC 2017 High Level Assembly

Our work in Vietnam, for example, is helping with MRV from paddy rice, with GEF support for implementation of the country's NDC -- plus baselines from the work will be used by the World Bank in their sustainable agricultural transformation project in the country.

In Bangladesh we have helped the government set a target to train 50,000 farmers on alternate wetting and drying methods in rice cultivation. > Read Bangaldesh's story

 

OTHER EXAMPLES

  • Manure management practice changes identified for Argentina, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Malawi, Vietnam, and regionally in Central America
  • 3 countries - Vietnam, Bangladesh, Colombia - participate in suitability assessments for alternate wetting and drying rice production
  • Alternatives to open agricultural burning projects started in India and Peru
  • 13 countries developed baseline and mitigation assessments for enteric fermentation in the dairy and livestock sector using the Global Livestock and Environmental Assessment Model (GLEAM)
  • Strategic Support Groups created in the Andes and Himalaya countries to help governments and local farmers find alternatives to open burning
  • Tools developed for Vietnam to measure, report, and verify greenhouse gas emissions from paddy rice, and support NDC implementation in the rice sector

Initiative contacts

James Morris,
Partnership & Programme Officer
James.Morris [at] un.org
Catalina Etcheverry,
Agriculture & Bricks Initiative Coordinator
Catalina.Etcheverry [at] un.org

Related initiatives

Who's involved

The CCAC Agriculture Initiative is currently co-chaired by New Zealand and ICCI

CCAC country partners and key organisations like the FAO and World Bank are engaged in our work. 

Our work also builds on important strategic partnerships with the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA), and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

Lead Partner: A Coalition partner with an active role in coordinating, monitoring and guiding the work of an initiative.

Implementer: A Coalition partner or actor receiving Coalition funds to implement an activity or initiative.

Partners (26)

Resources

2018 | Policies, Plans & Regulations

The discussion process of the Brazilian Forum on Climate Change (FBMC) for Brazil's Nationally Determined Contribution Implementation Proposal (NDC) has been carried out in the nine Thematic...

Brazil's NDC Initial Implementation Proposal
2017 | Guidelines & Tools
Alvarado Bolovich, Víctor; Medrano Tinoco, Jorge; Haro Reyes, José; Gómez Bravo, Carlos

In Peru, more than 70 percent of cattle are in the Sierra under an extensive system of grazing of both natural pastures and cultivated pastures where the national livestock is maintained. In the...

Emission of enteric methane by dairy farming in high Andean area
2017 | Official Statements

The Nationally Determined Contribution (hereinafter NDC) aims at attending the provisions established under the Paris Agreement, as well as to promote adaptation and mitigation measures in Uruguay...

First Nationally Determined Contribution of Uruguay
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