Bovine cattle raising NAMA aims to diminish the greenhouse effect gas emissions generated in cattle production and increase the carbon sinks of the pasture agro-ecosystems, through an environmental and productive management system at a regional level, promoting conservation and/or restoration of natural ecosystems, encouraging sustainable productive landscapes through the harmonization of the different public policy tools.
The specific goals of the project are:
-To intensify in a sustainable manner the cattle raising production by implementing intensive and non-intensive silvopastoral systems, and efficient management of the productive system
-Earmark areas in the cattle farms for conservation and/or restoration of natural ecosystems
-Manure management and utilization of the methane gas generated in the sacrifice lots
In a 15 year period of implementing the project, NAMA expects to achieve:
-Implement 1’250.000 ha of Silvopastoral Systems
-370.000 ha of Intensive Silvopastoral Systems
-2’200.000 ha intervene with eco-efficient management of improved foliage
-Achieve 2’000.000 ha restored in bovine livestock grounds
-4’000.000 ha freed in other sustainable uses
-Benefit 200.000 families across 15 departments in the country
-Reduce 4 MTon CO2e by enteric fermentation
-Capture 6 MTonCO2e by SSP implementation
-Capture up to 167 MtonCO2 by restored ecosystems
-Avoid deforestation of 2’500.000 ha of forest, reducing the pressure it has, and mitigating 1,228 MTonCO2e
-Total investment of USD$900 millions
-Abatement cost 4,16 $USD/TCO2e
According to the Second National Communication before the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (2010), enteric fermentation represents the 18.48% of the greenhouse gas emissions generated in the country (48.51% from the agricultural and livestock sector, from which 91% corresponds to bovine beef cattle), manure management represents 0.66% from the total of emissions in the country (1.73% from agricultural and livestock sector), in addition to being a major factor in the emissions of land use, change in land use and forestry that correspond to a 14.45%.
In terms of production, bovine livestock generates 950.000 direct jobs, but its productive levels are very low, with stock levels of 0.6 units of great bovine livestock per hectare. On the other hand, the weight gain per day is just 350 grams, which is not much compared to the average of other more efficient countries in the region. In addition to this, it is believed that conflict regarding the use of soil that present in Colombia is related to with the expansion of the bovine livestock activity on lands with an agricultural, forestry, or conservation vocation (IGAC, 2002, 2012), and this reflects an underutilization and degradation of natural resources in the 33’800.000 ha of pasture attributed to bovine livestock in the country (DANE, 2015).
To transform this area in sustainable and productive bovine livestock, releasing areas for conservation and other uses, is a most critical element in the future rural development of Colombia. To achieve this transition with equity, competitiveness and environmental sustainability is a challenge to the agricultural, livestock and environmental politics, which this NAMA aims to help achieve.
However, aiming to plan a productive and sustainable growth of the bovine livestock sector, FEDEGAN, the most representative union of the sector, elaborated a strategic plan to reduce the area dedicated nationally to the bovine livestock production, recover natural ecosystems and increase the animal stock in the areas, aiming for a sustainable and competitive production. In this framework, it is intended to transform the actual use of 10’000.000 ha in pastures, as well as establishing 1’000.000 ha of silvopastoral systems by 2019 (FEDEGAN, 2006).
In this sense, in 2011 started the big scale project “Sustainable Colombian Livestock”, led by the World Bank and the National Federation of Cattle Ranchers (FEDEGAN) with the support of the Global Environmental Fund and the United Kingdom Ministry of Energy. This became a successful public-private alliance which promotes the sustainability and climate change mitigation in the pastures agro-ecosystems. The project takes place in seven regions (Cesar river valley, low Magdalena, Boyaca-Santander, Coffee region, Orinoco’s foothills, Guajira and Meta) and aims to benefit 2800 small and medium cattle raisers through the implementation of sustainable production systems which contributes to ecological connection and the provision of environmental services while reduce poverty and increase productivity, contributing to climate change adaptation and mitigation (Zuluaga 2015).
Under this framework, The Agriculture Ministry alongside of association of producers as FEDEGAN and research centres as CIAT, CIPAV and GASA performed studies to understand the mitigation potential of different technical alternatives related to pastures agroecosystems. Different measurements of carbons stocks and emission in livestock intensification techniques as intensive silvopastoral systems were made.
The research conclude that this kind of systems have a great mitigation potential and contributes to the improvement of many environmental services as water regulation, erosion control and biodiversity.
Various projects are ongoing nowadays which intend to follow the validation of productive options associated to bovine livestock with a mitigation potential. Different institutions in the country like Universidad Nacional, Universidad de los Llanos, Universidad del Cauca, and Corpoica, amongst others, have constant research and validation programs at a regional level concerning this theme. CGIAR also has a Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security program that has, at a global level, the Livestock Plus project. This project aims to generate information regarding sustainability for practices such as different types of rotation and supplementation and its potential monitoring mechanisms.
Social, environmental and economic cobenefits of the NAMA:
According to the study for Low Carbon Development Colombian Strategy, the Econometría consulting team (2013) and the analysis from the NAMA Information Note (NINO), the following cobenefits were estimated:
- Improvements in the bovine livestock production returns in Colombia
- Improve the competitiveness of the sector
- Increase of income
- Reduce supply costs
- Reduce the climate variability risk
- Ease formalisation of workers
- Reduction of poverty
- Food security
- Increase of technical capability of bovine livestock
- Cobenefits of adaptation to climate change
- Improvements in hydrological cycles
- Soil conservation
- Biodiversity protection
- Strengthening of the agenda between Ministries of Environment and Agriculture.
- Increasing land uses based in land vocation, therefore reducing land use conflicts.
However there are a set of important limitation to accomplish the land use transformation that this NAMA is aiming for. Due to history and institutional design, have generated a set of legal framework and land occupation dynamics which have discourage the sustainable intensification of pastures based agro-ecosystems.
An important proportion of land units doesn’t have diffuse property structures due to different causes as informal appropriation, according to the department of national statistics (DANE) the 44% of rural units doesn’t have registered title (Restrepo, 2011). The causes of this informality issue in Colombia are associated to lack of knowledge in the procedures and requirements, high direct and transaction cost in the procedures, the difficult access to notary and registration offices, lack of coordination between authorities and low incentives to formalize for land owners.
Besides there are other barriers which can be overtaken with an effective NAMA design as the limitation of financial services, low regional specialization, lack of infrastructure in some specific regions, and weak rural extension program.