CAN contributes to FAO review on greenhouse gas mitigation

Gepubliceerd op
15 juli 2013

The FAO released a report that presents a unique, exhaustive review of current knowledge on mitigation practices for greenhouse gas emissions in the livestock sector. The 206-page report focuses specifically on methane and nitrous oxide emissions from enteric fermentation and manure management. The review was carried out by a team of 16 international experts from the USA, Canada, New Zealand and the Netherlands, including Dr. Jan Dijkstra of Wageningen University.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) report is entitled "Mitigation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Livestock Production: A Review of Technical Options for Non-CO2 Emissions". A team of experts collated, analysed and synthesized the literature on non-CO2 greenhouse gas mitigation practices in the livestock sector. The review was deliberately limited to in vivo experiments to reflect what can be achieved with available mitigation practices. Several experiments to mitigate methane emissions by dietary intervention from the Wageningen University’s climate respiration chambers in which Jan Dijkstra was involved, were included in the report.

The review was prompted by the lack of comprehensive, science-based, and consolidated information on existing greenhouse gas mitigation practices applicable to different livestock production systems across the globe. The report references more than 900 publications on the mitigation of direct nitrous oxide and methane emissions and highlights the most promising options, given their demonstrated effectiveness and feasibility for adoption.

This in-depth assessment will assist to identify research and development priorities in the area of mitigation of direct nitrous oxide and methane emissions. It will also inform the livestock industry, academia, governmental and non-governmental organizations that are interested in identifying and designing mitigation interventions for the sector. Several of the research priorities identified in the review are addressed in large research projects carried out by researchers of CAN and partners, including the Low Emission Animal Feed project and the Reduced Methane Emission of Dairy Cows project.

According to FAO, the report (available at, will help to craft interventions that can deliver multiple societal objectives of the sector, which include food security, poverty reduction, economic development and environmental sustainability.