Agriculture / CCAFS / CGIAR / Climate Change / Environment / ILRI / Livestock / Livestock Systems / Report

Greening livestock

This report on Greening livestock: Assessing the potential of payment for environmental services in livestock inclusive agricultural production systems in developing countries was released by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in July 2012.

Livestock serve as pathways out of poverty for poor smallholder farmers in the developing world. The production of livestock in mixed extensive and intensive crop–livestock and pastoral grazing systems worldwide generates both positive and negative impacts on the environment. This creates a challenge to promote livestock production systems that can generate economic benefits that foster social development while ensuring environmental sustainability.

In the developing world, there is increasing interest in payments for environmental services as an instrument for better managing the environment while helping to reduce poverty, particularly in rural areas.

To date, few payments for environmental services schemes target livestock keepers. This ILRI report, by Silvia Silvestri, Philip Osano, Jan de Leeuw, Mario HerreroPolly EricksenJuliet Kariuki,  Jemimah Njuki,  Claire Bedelian and An Notenbaert, helps to fill this gap by assessing the merits of such schemes in various livestock-inclusive farming systems in the developing world.

Among the report’s key recommendations are the following.

• Develop robust measurement and verification tools for environmental services produced by the livestock sector in livestock-inclusive agricultural production systems.

• Develop policies to promote implementation of schemes offering payments for environmental services in livestock-inclusive agricultural production systems to enable livestock farmers to diversify their income and to improve their economic situation.

• Provide support to livestock farmers to access the emerging environmental service markets.

• Implement capacity building activities (training, information provision to mention but a few) to increase the awareness of payments for environmental services schemes among smallholder households and to enable collective action processes needed for livestock farmers to access and participate in environmental service markets.

• Establish pilot climate change mitigation PES projects to demonstrate their benefits to livestock keepers and to explore the potential to link PES to climate change adaptation funds.

This report was made possible through financial support from the CGIAR, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), the Federal Republic of Germany and its GIZ/BEAF International Agricultural Research Grants Programme within the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Download the paper

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