Livestock under Climate Change: Role beyond Emissions
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Livestock under Climate Change: Role beyond Emissions

Livestock has significant potential as a key climate solution, like reversing land degradation, restoration of grasslands and carbon sequestration in soils

Post by DR. FAAZIL BASHIR RATHER on Saturday, November 19, 2022

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Climate experts, negotiators and governments have gathered at COP-27 to take action towards achieving collective climate goals and it is an opportunity to showcase unity in fight against climate change and its negative impacts on our planet. Demonizing livestock sector for its contribution to emissions will lead to nowhere. The world is at such critical crossroads, wherein climate shocks and food security crisis are reality and for addressing the situation we need to adapt and innovate, for this the animal production systems, needs to be more resilient, eco-friendly, sustainable and equitable for the future. 

 

There is an opportunity for our leaders to rethink the role of sustainable smart livestock production systems in climate action and there is a strong need to invest more in climate financing across the developing world. Since livestock sector plays a pivotal role in achieving food security; improving rural economy and income; improving the nutritional value of diets; ending poverty and may act as an essential means of livelihood in a sustainable manner. The sector provides social security net for small, marginal farmers and landless labourers and ensures gender equality and women empowerment.  Livestock has significant potential as a key climate solution, like reversing land degradation, restoration of grasslands and carbon sequestration in soils.

 

Livestock is too often tarred with the same brush regardless of the context, in which it is raised, the benefits it can provide for vulnerable communities, or its actual environmental impact. Livestock should instead be celebrated, not villainized, for the role it plays for ensuring food security across the globe. World needs to recognize and acknowledge that sustainable livestock can play a vital role in delivering climate justice. Efforts need to be made for supporting the innovations and research that will help the livestock sector to develop more sustainably.  Exploring the potential of lab-grown meat/ cultured meat in meeting the increasing demand for animal protein can offer solutions to heating impact of methane.

 

Additional investments shall help in opening doors to much-needed green technologies and is expected to prove game-changer in achieving climate adaptations. Keeping in view the clear benefits the livestock provides to the world’s most vulnerable communities and its significant potential as a key climate solution, it is imperative for one to look into One Health Lens and recognize that sustainable livestock can play a vital role in delivering climate justice. Tackling climate change, nutritional insecurities and imperiled livelihoods in an integrated manner, thereby building sustainable animal based food production systems that can feed the world, needs to be a top priority for COP27.

 

 

(Author is a Veterinarian and Technical Officer (Poultry), Directorate of Animal Husbandry Kashmir. Email: drfaazilahd@gmail.com)

 

 

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