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GLEAM-i: a tool to support countries tackling climate change through livestock

FAO estimates that livestock are responsible for 14 percent (about 7 gigatonnes of CO2) of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and that the potential to reduce the sector’s emissions reaches 30 percent (Gerber et al. 2013).


The contribution of livestock to climate change has attracted increasing attention and debate in the recent years, becoming a source of concern for the public, policy makers, producers and other players. The expected increased demand for livestock products will intensify the need for minimizing detrimental environmental effects while ensuring the socio-economic viability of the sector. The complexity and heterogeneity of livestock production, together with the lack of accessible and reliable tools, are holding down the adoption of available technologies and practices that can reduce emissions while maintaining or increasing production, contributing therefore to improve food security. Wider adoption of those measures will need more efforts in adequate policy making, design of proper incentives and effective dissemination and advocacy.


The Global Livestock Environmental Assessment Model (GLEAM) was developed by the Animal Production and Health division of FAO to evaluate the environmental impact of the livestock sector and to assess intervention scenarios. It provides disaggregated and spatially explicit estimations of livestock production and GHG emissions based on Tier 2 methodologies. GLEAM supports a range of national and international projects aiming at improving productivity in livestock and reducing GHG emissions. For example it is currently used in Climate Smart Agriculture projects in Ecuador, Niger Zambia and Malawi. It also supports a program funded by the ;Climate and Clean Air Coalition initiative on improving productivity and reducing enteric methane emissions in South America, South East Asia and, East and West Africa.


GLEAM-interactive (GLEAM-i) brings the core functionalities of GLEAM to the public in a single Excel file. GLEAM-i is the first open, user-friendly and livestock specific tool designed to support governments, project planners, producers, industry and civil society organizations to calculate emissions using Tier 2 methods. GLEAM-i can be used in the preparation of national inventories and in ex-ante project evaluation for the assessment of intervention scenarios in animal husbandry, feed and manure management.