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.