FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

FAO and Central Asia work towards climate-friendly and resilient livestock development

A complex, FAO-led effort concluded by addressing the challenges posed by climate change to livestock keepers, as well as exploring opportunities of meat, milk, and wool production with lower emissions in the ecological and social structures of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

The project, entitled “Identifying low carbon and climate resilient pathways for the ruminant sector in the selected countries of Central Asia,” was led by a multidisciplinary team of technical experts Yvette Zenina, FAO natural resources officer, and Yuriy Nesterov, FAO sustainable livestock specialist, in close cooperation with the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock.

The scientists developed a set of recommendations for formulating new policies and adopting climate-friendly practices in the ruminant sector. During the process, all three significant aspects of sustainable small ruminant production have been equally considered, such as the traditionally-recognized economic significance, special social value and, above all, environmental impact with a focus on climate.

Building on the success of the project, FAO is now working with partners to develop a subregional strategy for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Central Asia.

The results of research, conducted jointly by the University of Central Asia, Tuscia University and FAO, will facilitate the development of a comprehensive vision for the small ruminant sector in the area.

“Research was an essential element of the project; together with the universities and other experts, we have been thoroughly researching data, policies, and on-the-ground practices and sought advice and experience from partners through online communication and three face-to-face meetings in each country,” said Yuriy Nesterov, FAO sustainable livestock specialist. “It culminated in the final conference held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and reports prepared jointly by both universities and FAO.” 

Within the project, information on policies and practices about ruminant production systems, pasture management, and their relationship to climate change in the three target countries was collected and analyzed.

Subsequently, the data gathered allowed to assess global greenhouse emissions with the help of the FAO geographic information system framework that simulates the bio-physical processes and activities along the livestock supply chains under a life cycle assessment approach, called the Global Livestock Environmental Assessment Model (GLEAM), that also helped draft the recommendation for more climate-friendly policies.

The project was funded from FAO’s efficiency savings meant to support specific targeted activities at country level.

16 February 2021, Ankara, Turkey