Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Stop environmental pollution from livestock waste

Bangkok, Thailand, 23 Jun 2011 -- Funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented through the World Bank with FAO technical assistance, the inter-country Livestock waste management project - implemented by China, Thailand and Viet Nam - addresses negative environmental impacts of rapidly increasing livestock production.

Project achievements

The Livestock waste management in East Asia project was conceived and implemented with the aim of putting the brakes on environmental pollution caused by livestock waste. Collaborators of this project worked for five years to address these issues and will discuss potential replication with the other countries.

The project approached the problem through multiple fronts: firstly, a technology demonstration component that piloted manure management technologies on participating farms; secondly, a policy component to ensure that livestock waste are effectively addressed by agricultural and environmental policies of the three participating countries; thirdly, a monitoring component that constantly assessed progress against the goals. Finally, a regional support component assisted countries and synergized their actions. 

The project results demonstrate that waste management and recycling technologies are available to effectively reduce environmental impacts at limited costs.

“I commend the commitment displayed by the participating countries, the World Bank, and FAO in implementing this project”, the FAO Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific, Hiroyuki Konuma said today.

“As we hold this final conference and gather after five years of collaboration, I urge all stakeholders to share their respective project implementation experiences, findings and lessons learnt from the project, and explore the replication and dissemination potential with the other countries”, he added.

Growth of the livestock sector in East Asia

Today, world demand for meat and meat products are rapidly increasing, and the livestock sector is able to generate high tax revenues for governments through its large-scale units, as well as help contribute to poverty alleviation through income generation at the household level. As rural to urban migration rapidly advances in these countries, the expanding urban population needs to be supplied with a cheap source of protein for nutritional security.  

“However, when sectors expand at an exponential rate, significant negative environmental impacts are often associated as a by-product. Animals produce manure, and large numbers of animals concentrated in limited geographical areas result in concentrated flows of waste, which has become hazardous as observed in many cases”, Mr Konuma remarked.

The three participating countries in the project all drain into the South China Sea, and the biological richness of the sea is threatened by land-based runoff, notably livestock waste. The environmental and public health implications are self-evident.

On 23 June 2011, over 40 participants from the three participating countries as well as participants from other invited countries attended the conference which was held at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Bangkok, with an aim to share project findings, experiences and lessons learnt, including introduction of tools for waste management, strategy development at farm and policy level and identify replication and dissemination potential.