Africa / Article / CCAFS / Climate Change / ILRI / Kenya / SLS

Just how much gas does Africa’s livestock produce? A new environmental lab sets up to find out


The mobile greenhouse gas measuring laboratory of ILRI’s Mazingira Centre (photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan).

‘Scientists at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Kenya have established a state-of-the-art laboratory to help find a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from livestock in Africa.

‘The laboratory, which has equipment such as respiration chambers and manure management gadgets, is the first of its kind in Africa and started operating in April this year, according to the scientists at the institute who spoke during a visit to the ILRI by the UK chief science advisor Mark Walport last month (15 July).

“The livestock-related research on GHGs will help determine real measures of emissions data to help explore realistic, locally adapted mitigation strategies in reducing global warming,” said Klaus Butterbach-Bahl, a principal scientist, livestock systems and environment, ILRI. . . .

“Unfortunately there is no reliable data on GHG emissions from livestock production in Africa due to lack of both technology and infrastructure that could generate such data,” Butterbach-Bahl added.

‘With this laboratory, Africa will now be able to generate its own data on GHG emission levels as opposed to previous instances.

‘. . . From their data analyses, scientists will accurately measure emissions from livestock and manure and then link them to livestock productivity, feed intake, and health, said Butterbach-Bahl, adding that part of the analysis will involve the use of the latest versions of automatic respiration chambers, which measure the results of livestock feedings of differing grains and at different intake levels. . . .

‘ILRI provided funding to set up the laboratory. The German Development Agency, the Center for International Forestry Research, United Nations Environment Programme, International Fund for Agricultural Development and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security are collaborating on some activities in the laboratory. . . .’

Read the whole article by Duncan Mboyah in SciDevNet: New lab aids monitoring of gas emissions from livestock, 7 Aug 2015.

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