Virtual preparatory training for Tier 2 livestock GHG quantification in Zimbabwe

Virtual preparatory training for Tier 2 livestock GHG quantification in Zimbabwe 1346 960 KM

Virtual preparatory training for Tier 2 livestock GHG quantification in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s livestock sector contributes significantly to its socio-economic development through providing employment to 65% of rural (smallholder) livelihoods and contributing up to 20% of GDP. Zimbabwe is currently producing its Fourth National Inventory Report and its first Biannual Update Report (BUR) using a Tier 1 method. There are ongoing collaborative relationships between the agriculture and environment ministries and data providers in the livestock sector on the harmonization of data collection and reporting tools. This provides a strong basis for preparing to transition from a Tier 1 to a Tier 2 inventory method. The Tier 2 method is a more elaborate method that enables farm-level assessment of mitigation potential. 

The AfLP responded to requests from the Zimbabwe Climate Change Management Department (CCMD) for technical assistance (TA) to complement the ongoing and future planned support by other partners. In collaboration with stakeholders, the AfLP and LEDS GP Climate Help Desk assisted by hosting a three-day webinar series and training, from the 30th of November to the 2nd of December, to better understand the requirements for a transition from a Tier 1 to a Tier 2 method. The objective of the technical assistance was to strengthen the capacity of stakeholders from the livestock sector to better understand how to implement the IPCC Guidelines for quantification of livestock GHG emissions using the Tier 2 method in order to strengthen the national MRV system. In addition, the TA aimed to identify the data needs and gaps, and to co-create a list of key actions that could form the basis for a roadmap to progressing to Tier 2. The sessions were convened by Mr Lawrence Mashungu (CCMD) and facilitated by Dr Walter Svinurai (Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology) and Prof. Farai Mapanda (University of Zimbabwe), with technical inputs by Andreas Wilkes (UNIQUE forestry and land use).

The technical discussions were orientated around how to implement the IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (the livestock-specific guidance can be found here). In addition, The FAO, the GRA and CCAFS have produced specific guidance on how to compile activity data required to implement the Tier 2 method for livestock, and can be found here. The IPCC method for more advanced quantification of livestock emissions appears complicated, and the workshop broke down the main data needs and tasks into easy-to-understand and manageable components, so that all stakeholders – including those without in-depth knowledge on GHG emissions – could clearly see what needs to be done to compile an improved inventory.

The first day focused on an introduction to the IPCC Tier 2 method and its requirement, as well as Zimbabwe’s progress to date and institutional arrangements. Participants noted that the application of the Tier 2 method could result in more consistent, comparable and robust estimates of livestock GHG emissions. There was strong agreement that the Tier 2 method provides a valuable opportunity to improve basic livestock data, leading to effective mitigation policies being identified. It was further emphasised that it is important for national stakeholders to be clear on what the intended benefits are for Zimbabwe’s livestock sector (e.g. leveraging investments, GHG mitigation co-benefits of adaptation etc). This event was subsequently noted as an important step in the transition process.

The second and third day focussed on group discussions on livestock population data needs and options for tier 2 GHG quantification. The Tier 2 method requires only total population data for dairy cattle and other cattle, subsequently using data on cattle sub-populations. In Zimbabwe’s inventory, non-dairy cattle are the main source of GHG emissions. Although IPCC Guidelines make recommendations for livestock characterization countries have different ways of defining dairy and non-dairy cattle. 

Group discussions took place about the categorization suitable for Zimbabwe and possible data sources and data gaps. A major challenge is that when the Tier 2 method is adopted, it must be applied to the whole time series for cattle enteric fermentation emissions back to the initial year of the inventory (i.e., 1990 in the case of Zimbabwe). Despite this challenge, there are methods to fill gaps if some data is not available (eg. proxy indicators, data from neighbouring countries, expert judgement, amongst others). The key point emerging from these discussions is that it is important that all agencies involved understand each other’s’ methodologies, and that there is a common understanding and awareness of the benefits of collaborating moving forward. 

The event culminated in a number of feasible actions that stakeholders can take in the short-term to prepare the Tier 2 inventory compilation process. Notable actions include clarifying the institutional arrangements for coordination amongst stakeholders, developing a join step-by-step action plan, and mobilising the resources to implement the action plan. Stakeholders in Zimbabwe have already begun to plan follow-up actions, some of which can be implemented in the framework of ongoing MRV capacity building projects supported by UNDP and UN FAO. Proposals for the additional support required will be drafted and communicated with other international partners supporting low-emission livestock development. 

Download the workshop report and presentations here