The Contribution of sustainable intensification of livestock to the reduction of methane emissions

The aim of this project is to determine the distribution of cattle farms in Panama and the Dominican Republic. This includes researching the regions with the highest concentration of cattle farms, production systems, the level of technological innovation (e.g. which technologies are the predominant ones), and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions focusing on methane. 

The project will map livestock and climate change projects in both countries. From this information, results and lessons learned will be analyzed for the identification and characterization of silvopastoral systems (SSP) and good practices for the sustainable intensification of competitive, resilient production systems with low methane emissions. 

Project reference: The Contribution of sustainable intensification of livestock to the reduction of methane emissions [PA-21-001]


  • Get short lived climate pollutant mitigation on regional agendas
  • Develop and embed measures to reduce short lived climate pollutants in national climate and clean air strategies, plans, policies, and budget
  • Provide decision makers research, analyses, and tools to make ambitious commitments and take fast action

Why We're Doing This Work

In Panama and the Dominican Republic, livestock occupies a large percentage of the land: 20 and 25% of the territory respectively (Acosta and Díaz 2013, IICA 2015). In both countries, livestock show low indicators of animal productivity: lless than 3000 kg of milk/ha/year and 200 kg of live weight/ha/year. Methane is responsible for 11.24% of total emissions in Panama (Ministry of the Environment 2021) and 11.07% in the Dominican Republic (Ministry of the Environment 2020). The causes of low animal production are similar both in these two countries and in the region. Poor management of farm components such as soil, pastures and forages, and tree cover remains a problem, as does manure management, water management, livestock genetics, health and reproduction, registration system, value added to farm products (milk, meat and others), link to markets (which is done in isolation and is not organized following a value chain approach).

The state of livestock production contributes not only to low productive and income indicators, but also increases greenhouse gas emissions (mainly methane), and degrades biodiversity, while also causing issues for other ecosystem services (for example, soil conservation, air quality, climate regulation, etc.) that are related to the resilience of production systems. In part, this situation is due to a lack of policies for the development of competitive, resilient livestock farming with low greenhouse gas emissions with a focus on methane.

Countries have been making efforts to decarbonize their economies, as shown in the NDCs and the Biennial Update Reports. In both Panama and the Dominican Republic's recent NDC updates, they have included a focus on the livestock sector to support the national commitment to reduce global emissions, at least with the contribution to the national GHG inventory.

What We're Doing

  • Workshop to analyse potential inclusion of atmospheric information into national policies and programs and identify capacity development requirements
  • Regional dialogue on good practices and technological innovations for Low Emissions Livestock Development
  • Generation of a policy brief on low carbon and sustainable competitive livestock
  • Regional Exchange Workshop on Low Emissions Livestock Development
  • Develop business models for farms representing the predominant and characterized typologies in the countries, exploring climate financing options that can be used for climate investments
  • Design a training program for technicians on sustainable intensification of livestock based on silvopastoral systems (SSP) and good livestock practices that improve income, resilience, and reduce methane emissions
  • Evaluate the technical and financial feasibility of the GI3S methodology for monitoring different sources of methane in the atmosphere to understand the effect of cattle farming in Panama and the Dominican Republic
  • Develop a proposal for a national/regional livestock strategy with low GHG emissions, focusing on methane. Also include monitoring of this gas in the atmosphere  as a metric to measure the impact of the transformation of the livestock sector
  • Promote an escalation strategy for the SICA region, based on the results obtained in Panama and the Dominican Republic, with the purpose of strengthening knowledge and generating a contribution for the implementation of the respective NDCs