Costa Rica: Enhancing NDC amitions with mitigation in the agriculture sector

Costa Rica’s livestock sector is responsible for 28% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. In its Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) on Livestock, Costa Rica aims to scale up mitigation measures across 70% of its herd with the aim of reducing methane emissions by 6 Mt CO2eq by 2030. This is a key focus area under Costa Rica’s National Decarbonization Plan, which aims to transform the livestock sector to produce eco-competitive livestock. 

We are funding demonstration projects in Costa Rica to illustrate how institutional strengthening, improved institutional linkages and assessment tools can help set ambitious mitigation targets. These activities are designed to provide regionally-relevant examples that can be replicated throughout the Latin America and Caribbean region. 


Our Agriculture Initiative is working in Costa Rica, as well as many other countries around the world, to: 

  • Engage relevant actors and enhance their capacity to promote methane mitigation actions that align with sustainable development goals (SDGs)
  • Help countries integrate methane quantification and mitigation into existing and planned livestock sector strategies, investments and policies 
  • Enhance capacity in countries to secure climate finance in support of transformative action. 

Why we're doing this work

At COP23 in Bonn, countries adopted a decision on agri-food systems that will lead to the implementation of policies to address both climate change and food security. They established the “Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture” (KJWA) to develop and implement new strategies for adaptation and mitigation within the agriculture sector. These strategies aim to reduce emissions from the sector and build resilience to climate change impacts. The agreement is the first substantive outcome and COP decision in the history of the UNFCCC processes on agriculture. With Paris Agreement commitments and the KJWA decision in place, countries must produce (at least Tier 2) baselines for agricultural emissions to support their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs); develop tools to support Monitoring, Verification and Reporting (MRV); and put in place context-specific plans and policies to access climate finance. 

Despite such aspirations, accounting and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by signatory countries to the Paris Agreement remains challenging. While many countries’ NDCs broadly recognize the role of agriculture in climate change mitigation and adaptation, such ambition is not generally reflected in the programs and targets they have set. As countries work to update and turn their NDCs from plans into action, many lack the capacity, finance, and technical know-how to achieve this on their own. 

What we're doing

The Coalition is funding work to strengthen institutional capacity, enhance stakeholder participation and awareness, and improve understanding of the potential for methane mitigation in NDCs and other policy planning processes.   

Project activities include:  

  • Conducting stakeholder assessments and network analysis 
  • Organizing multi-stakeholder policy events to build broad awareness and consensus around project objectives
  • Identifying supportive policies and programmes and flag potential barriers to mitigation at scale 
  • Carry out assessments to identify the policy gaps, needs, and actions to set policies that achieve national goals 
  • Develop plans to strengthen enabling environments and determine financial needs  

This work in Costa Rica will link to a project co-funded with the New Zealand Government and delivered by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and the National Agricultural Research Institute (INTA) with support of the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), via a Regional Platform for Sustainable Livestock Production. The project will pilot the development and testing of low emitting dairy systems via improved grassland and animal management. 

Pollutants (SLCPs)