Shaping The Way for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Livestock Systems in Africa

Pioneering climate-smart solutions for livestock systems

Climate-Smart Livestock Systems

The Added Value of This Article

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Value add for readers

  • The pioneering efforts of the Programme for Climate-Smart Livestock System in developing climate change adaptation and mitigation action for the livestock sector serve as an inspiration and a call to action for stakeholders across Africa and beyond.
  • They can forge a resilient future for livestock farming, ensuring food security and sustainable livelihoods in the face of a changing climate.
Adaptation pioneers Kidane and Wilta demonstrating their innovative
feed supplements in Ethiopia  © Photo by Apollo Habtamu ILRI

Livestock farming plays a vital role in Africa’s economy, providing food security, livelihoods, and contributing to the region’s cultural fabric. However, with the looming threat of climate change, the livestock sector faces unprecedented challenges. Recognizing the urgency to act, the çembarked on a groundbreaking initiative to shape low emissions and climate resilient development pathways for the African livestock sector.

Supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by GIZ, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and the World Bank, the programme set out to identify and promote interventions that align with the principles of climate-smart agriculture which aims to enhance livestock productivity, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, and foster resilience to climate change.

Three project briefs

The Programme’s novel approaches to climate-smart livestock systems are captured in the recent publication of three project briefs that encapsulate the main findings from a five-year endeavor. These briefs provide insights into climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies tailored to two distinct livestock systems prevalent in East Africa: extensive livestock systems and mixed systems.

By improving feeding and health management practices, these farmers have not only safeguarded their livestock but have also contributed to sustainable and climate-resilient farming practices.

In addition to feed supplements, the project briefs shed light on a range of other interventions that can bolster climate-smart livestock systems. From income diversification strategies to complementary agricultural activities, the options presented offer practical pathways to enhance resilience and sustainability. By diversifying income streams, farmers can weather the uncertainties brought about by climate change while simultaneously mitigating risks associated with livestock production.

A third project brief takes a crucial step towards bridging the gap between science and policy by focusing on measuring greenhouse gas emissions and tracking adaptation to climate change in Africa’s livestock sector. Robust methodologies and improved data collection enable African countries to accurately quantify emissions from livestock systems. Such data empowers policymakers to make informed decisions and report progress towards the ambitious goals outlined in the Paris Agreement.

The Programme for Climate-Smart Livestock Systems’ comprehensive approach to climate-smart livestock systems demonstrates the power of collaboration and knowledge exchange. By bringing together expertise from diverse organizations, including GIZ, ILRI, and the World Bank, the project has catalyzed a paradigm shift in the way we perceive and address the challenges faced by East Africa’s livestock sector.


To delve deeper into the findings and recommendations of the Programme for Climate-Smart Livestock Systems, interested readers can access the project briefs via the provided link. For further information or inquiries, is available to assist.

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