Joint Workshop on “Smart Mitigation of GHG in Livestock Production”

FACCE ERA-GAS (ERA-NET Cofund for Monitoring & Mitigation of Greenhouse gases from Agri- and Silvi-culture), together with the ERA-NET SusAn, (Sustainable Animal Production Systems) and ERA-NET ICT-AGRI 2 (Information and Communication Technologies and Robotics for Sustainable Agriculture) organised a joint workshop on 29-30 November in Potsdam to identify promising approaches to reduce GHG emissions in livestock production. The joint workshop, the first of its kind involving three ERA-NETs, had close to 70 participants from 22 different countries. The three ERA-NETs have already identified a number of potential areas of synergy. This workshop explored one of those areas in detail: Comparison of animal production systems with respect to GHGs. The outputs of the workshop will help to set the research priorities for future joint calls and other activities between the three ERA-NETs.

The workshop was opened by the chair of the CWG-SAP, Bernhard Polten, who gave a brief introduction to the complexity of the topic and the variety of views on livestock production. Reiner Brunsch, director of ATB, presented the research conducted at the Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy, also with regard to research on GHGs. In the following keynote speeches, Jean Francois Soussana, scientific director (Environment), INRA, FR, and Harry Clark, director of NZAGRC, NZ, set the scene for the working groups by introducing to the topic of GHGs and livestock from global to animal level. Finally, the three ERA-NETs involved in this workshop were briefly presented by Elke Saggau (SusAn), Raymond Kelly (ERA-GAS) and Niels Gøtke (ICT-AGRI 2).

After the presentations, four breakout groups discussed the following four areas:

  • Production technology and management (e.g. housing systems; optimal field and grazing management), subdivided in :
    • Ruminants
    • Monogastrics
  • Breeding, physiology, feed & nutrition, subdivided in:
    • Ruminants
    • Monogastrics

The aim of the discussions was to identify possible research topics for further additional activities and/or potential (joint) calls in SusAn, ERA-GAS and ICT-AGRI. The results of the four groups were merged into one lists with topics. All participants were ask to select five topics of high research priority from the list. The data were compiled into a list with top ranked topics.

Christine Bunthof, coordinator of PLATFORM of bioeconomy ERA-NET Actions presented funding instruments and mechanisms for European initiatives to support research and innovation. The participants then split into ERA-NET specific working groups in order to brainstorm on collection and definition of funding instruments and mechanisms for further additional activities in SusAn, ERA-GAS and ICT-Agri.

The outcome of the ERA-NET related discussions was, that the ranked list of research topics in combination with the instruments presented are a useful basis for the planning of future activities within the ERA-NETs. A follow-up workshop would be welcomed, possibly in order to discuss selected research topics in more debth and again in combination with specific funding instruments and mechanisms.