1st Joint workshop "Smart Mitigation of GHG in livestock production“

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Three different EU funding networks: ERA-NET SusAn (ERA-NET on Sustainable Animal Production Systems); ERA-GAS (Greenhouse Gas Monitoring and Mitigation in Agri- and Silviculture); and ICT-AGRI 2 (Information and Communication Technologies and Robotics for Sustainable Agriculture) organised in 2016 a joint workshop to identify promising system approaches to reduce GHG emissions in livestock production and set coming research priorities.




More than 100 countries pledged to reduce GHG emissions in the 2015 Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Global GHG emissions from agriculture reached an all-time high in 2014, with 5.25 billion tons of CO2 equivalents, representing approximately 21% of total anthropogenic emissions (FAO June 2016). Therefore, the Agriculture sector needs to find ways to reduce emissions.

ERA-NET SusAn is an ERA-NET Cofund which aims to fund research which maximizes the benefits between the three pillars of sustainability: economy, environment and society in livestock production. ERA-GAS is an ERA-NET Cofund which aims to strengthen the transnational coordination of research programmes and provide added value to research and innovation on greenhouse gas (GHG) monitoring and mitigation in the European Research Area.  ICT-AGRI-2 is an ERA-NET which aims to contribute to the development of an eco-efficient, resource-efficient and competitive agriculture through an enhanced and improved use of ICT and robotics.

Aim of the workshop

SusAn, ERA-GAS and ICT-AGRI had 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. Particular attention was paid to the following two sub-topics:

  1. Production technology and management for monogastric and ruminants (e.g. housing systems; optimal field and grazing management)
  2. Breeding, physiology, feed & nutrition

The output of the workshop will be the basis for future joint calls and other joint activities between the three ERA-NETs. The workshop therefore focused on:

  • Synthesising the expertise of participants in livestock production
  • Enabling discussion of stakeholders in terms of research focus and eligibility
  • Setting research priorities for future joint activities
  • Identifiying possible topics for a common call of SusAn, ERA-GAS and ICT-AGRI
  • Identifying a first list of areas of concerns that will be relevant for future development and alignment of research

Outcome of the workshop 

The joint workshop, the first of its kind involving three ERA-NETs, had close to 70 participants from 22 different countries. 

All participants were ask to select five topics of high research priority. 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 outputs of the workshop will help to set the research priorities for future joint calls and other activities between the three 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.

A report of the outcomes of the workshop can be downloaded here