New Zealand opens applications for NZ$25M fund for Global Partnerships in Livestock Emissions Research aimed at mitigating GHG emissions from pastoral farming

Andrew Rogers

Andrew Rogers

Sep 27, 2011 – New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

WELLINGTON, New Zealand , September 27, 2011 (press release) – A competitive, international fund for research on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from pastoral farming is now open for applications.

Agriculture Minister David Carter announced the NZ$25 million Fund for Global Partnerships in Livestock Emissions Research at the inaugural ministerial meeting of the Global Research Alliance in Rome in June.

The Fund draws on the NZ$45 million that the New Zealand Government committed to the Alliance in 2009. It is being allocated over the four years to June 2016. Two application rounds are being held, the first opening on 19 September and closing on 7 November 2011.

In the lead-up to the first round, a Strategic Science Panel has identified the key research challenges that need to be addressed to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from pastoral farming.

The Panel was chaired by the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Sir Peter Gluckman. The other members were: Professor Paddy Cunningham (Ireland), Jimmy Smith (International Livestock Research Institute based in Kenya), Daniel Martino (Uruguay), Andy West (New Zealand) and Collier Isaacs (New Zealand).

The four key research challenges the Panel identified are to:

* Manipulate rumen function to reduce the amount of methane that is produced per unit of feed intake;
* Reduce nitrous oxide emissions from soils in grazing livestock systems;
* Manipulate the rate of soil carbon change in grazing livestock systems;
* Develop improved tools for farmer decision making.

The new Fund is open to international scientists and multi-stakeholder/country consortia bids. International co-funding is a requirement. Projects can be led by a New Zealand participant or one from an Alliance member country but must include the significant involvement of a New Zealand partner.

The Director of the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre, Dr Harry Clark, says the community of specialist researchers in this area in New Zealand is small but highly regarded internationally and this Fund presents an opportunity to accelerate this research by increasing international collaboration.

MAF will appoint a Technical Assessment Panel to evaluate proposals.

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