Steps towards low-carbon livestock in Eswatini

Eswatini submitted their Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2015 with plans to update their NDCs before the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) in November 2021. A greenhouse gas mitigation assessment is a key component of establishing this climate change mitigation commitment.  

Eswatini is working with CCAC partners and local experts on activities to support the development of a Tier 2 GHG inventory in Eswatini’s livestock sector and provide recommendations to the Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, the Ministry of Agriculture and other relevant stakeholders, on possible steps towards a low-carbon livestock sector and for the preparation of their revised NDC


This project aims to support the development of Tier 2 GHG inventory in the livestock sector, to recommend possible next steps towards a low carbon livestock sector, to develop an assessment of the potential to reduce greenhouse gases across the agriculture sector in the Kingdom of Eswatini, to support the Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs towards developing the revision to their NDC.  

What we're doing

This project has helped Eswatini:

  • Define data inputs (animal categories, feed basket and herd parameters), which included developing a matrix of animal categories (farming systems per animal cohorts) for the collection of data (on animal numbers and technical parameters) and computation of Tier 2 emissions  
  • Identify data gaps and propose data acquisition protocols 
  • Identify climate mitigation opportunities for the ruminant sector
  • Deliver on-line capacity development in support of Tier 2 GHG inventory
  • Identify the climate change indicators, data collection and processing procedures, and recommendations of the organizations where indicator data can be obtained for the agriculture sector  
  • Develop an integrated GHG, SLCP, and air pollutant assessment for the agriculture sector and recommendations for the inclusion of GHG, SLCP and air pollutant mitigation in the agriculture sector in Eswatini's revised NDC 

Why we're doing this work

Agriculture has an important role in the country’s economy, accounting for 8.6 percent of the country Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017. The livestock sector contributed to nearly 51 percent of the agriculture GDP. It is estimated that the beef value chain created a value added of 85 million euros, with a direct injection to the public economy of 4 million euros due to taxes. However, there is a deficit of 23 million euros in the trade balance, which indicates that Eswatini is depending on imports to cover the national demand. 

The 2006 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines for National GHG inventories is the guiding document for this project. The guidelines provide several methodological options for estimating GHG emissions which are structured in the form of three tiers (Tier 1, 2, and 3) that describe and connect the various levels of detail at which estimates can be made. In general, moving to higher tiers improves the accuracy of the inventory and reduces uncertainty, but the complexity and resources required for conducting inventories also increases for higher tiers (Tier 2 and 3).  

The latest 2018 greenhouse inventory that was undertaken in the country used Tier 1 methods to estimate emissions from the livestock sector. This is the simplest tier that is adopted if there is limited country-specific data and emission factors. The CCAC supported project aims at improving this work to develop a modelling framework and a set of tools that will be used to develop the Tier 2 GHG inventory for the livestock sector. 

Tier 2 GHG inventory methods apply country-specific emission factors and use IPCC default models. Higher temporal and spatial resolution and more disaggregated activity data are typically used in Tier 2 to correspond with country-defined coefficients for specific regions and specialized land-use or livestock categories. Tier 2 provides better accuracy than Tier 1 with moderate data and resource requirements. 

Pollutants (SLCPs)