The cow in the room: can sustainable livestock production deliver climate adaptation, mitigation and food security?

Core message

Too often, climate discussions focus on the negative aspects of intensive livestock production. The livestock sector is often cited as the most intensive emitter of greenhouse gases within agriculture production systems, contributing to about 18% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from methane and nitrous oxide. However, science shows that sustainable livestock can bring adaptation, mitigation and economic growth benefits to both people and the planet. Sustainable livestock production, especially in developing countries, can contribute to building climate resilience, while boosting low emission development, and supporting food security and livelihoods.  

This event will present evidence of the critical role that sustainable livestock can play in climate resilience and low emission development, by highlighting how examples of interventions from Africa and Latin America have benefited rural communities. It will also engage speakers and the audience in a discussion around priorities for livestock climate resilience and low-emission development in African and Latin American countries, and the investment needed from governments and the private sector to boost sustainable livestock production.   


  • Change the narrative around livestock production systems, and explore how they can offer climate resilience and low emission development opportunities 

  • Showcase examples of projects where livestock played a pivotal role in addressing climate-related shocks affecting rural populations 

  • Highlight the crucial role that livestock plays in climate resilience and low emission development opportunities in Africa and Latin America, by providing concrete examples that have benefitted the environment and rural populations 

  • Provide the grounds for governments and the private sector to increase investment in sustainable livestock, especially in Africa and Latin America

Partners: ILRI, Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT, CGIAR Research Initaitive on Livestock, Climate Change Systems Resilience, Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA)




  • Simeon Ehui, Regional Director for Sustainable Development for Africa, World Bank


  • Laura Cramer, Science Officer, Climate Smart Agricultural Practices, ILRI
  • Bernard Kimoro, Head Climate Change and Livestock Sustainability Section, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Co-operatives, Kenya
  • Carlos Felipe Torres, Coordinator of the agricultural inventory in Colombia and the technical support of the greenhouse gas inventory network of Latin America and the Caribbean, RedINGEI
  • Esther Zulu, Farmer
  • Dr Dereje Wakjira, Director, IGAD Center for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD)
  • Melissa D. Ho, Senior Vice President, Freshwater & Food, WWF-US
  • Sanne Decker, member of the Standing Committee on Environment, International Dairy Federation (IDF)

Closing remarks

  • Juan Lucas Restrepo, Director General of Alliance Bioversity and CIAT