By Lumbiwe Mwanza
THE Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) is confident that Greenhouse gas emissions by the livestock sector could be cut by as much as 30 percent through wider use of existing best practices and technologies.
According to a study by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) livestock faming – cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and chickens – contributes around 6 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) to the atmosphere each year.
Zema Climate Change and Natural Resources Manager Anord Phiri said using Techniques to reduce livestock greenhouse gas emissions may also increase livestock productivity and resilience.
Currently, livestock rising supports the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people and represents an increasingly important source of protein in many regions that have long struggled with chronic hunger and malnutrition.
“If greenhouse gas emissions are to reduce while ensuring that challenges of malnutrition are addressed, livestock farmers need to show more commitment towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions by ensuring appropriate feed and management of manure of animals” mr phiri said.
Mr phiri added that Measures to mitigate or reduce greenhouse gas emissions must be weighed on a farm by farm basis, as types of animal production among species and geographic locations are extremely diverse.
Mr phiri said that any effort to put the livestock sector on an alternative track will require a broad-based and inclusive mutual effort.
“Only by involving all stakeholders – the private and public sector, civil society research and academia and international organizations – will we be able to implement solutions that address the livestock sector’s diversity and complexity,” mr phiri said.
Mr Phiri further explained that in an effort to mitigate effects of climate change, citizens need to develop interest to adopt new water harvesting techniques.
“Global warming effects have contributed to reduced water levels in water bodies, resulting into water shortages in some parts of the country, therefore citizens should strive to utilize domestic water well” Mr phiri explained.
And Civic Forum on Housing and Habitat Zambia (CFHHZ) executive director Grace Mtonga observed the need to popularize alternative building methods that do not encourage deforestation.
Mrs mtonga said deforestation contributes to global warming hence the need to discourage traditional methods of construction using wood-fired clay bricks.
“it is imperative to promote the use of less wood-intensive construction techniques such as using low cost, locally-sourced and sustainable materials” Mrs mtonga said.