Climate-smart livestock production


Population growth, rapid urbanization, and dietary changes have resulted in growing global demand for livestock products, with a negative impact on climate change. Increasing temperatures, increased climate variability, and more frequent and severe extreme weather events are all threatening livestock production systems. The livestock sector is a major contributor to climate change, it is estimated that the sector emits about 7.1 giga-tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2eq.), about 18 percent of the total anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (FAO, 2006). Climate-smart livestock (CSL) solutions can contribute to a reduction of GHG emissions through improved livestock productivity, efficient use of natural resources, carbon sequestration and integration of livestock into the circular economy. Other CSL solutions focus solely on climate change adaptation. Livestock productivity can be improved either by increasing the output (e.g. increased milk production) or by decreasing inputs while maintaining the same output, for example by using higher-quality feed rations. It is estimated that improving livestock productivity will reduce emissions per unit of livestock product by 20 to 30 percent. There are specific livestock feed products that can lower GHG emissions, but it is unlikely that these will be available and affordable for smallholders in Asia and the Pacific any time soon. Examples of CSL solutions focusing on the efficient use of natural resources include higher yields per hectare, higher water productivity, efficient use of low-carbon energy, and the reduction of waste along the value chain.

Additional Information

Organization Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Type of resource Methodologies and guidelines
Year of Release 2021

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