July 6, 2022 (ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia) The IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD) in partnership with the World Bank Group held a two-day session for the validation of the IGAD regional strategy for resilient and sustainable livestock sector to effects of climate change.
The meeting was attended by technical teams from Ministries responsible of animal resources, environment, research (ILRI, Academia), private sector, WBG and IGAD. This was followed by half-day meeting with high-level policy officials; Ministers (Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda) and their technical teams for advocacy for policy buy-in.
ICPALD in partnership with the World Bank Group has been developing an IGAD regional strategy to build resilient and sustainable livestock to effects of climate change in the region. To achieve this, two virtual regional stakeholder consultation meetings were convened with experts from the livestock sector, agriculture, environment, research institutions and private sectors to review effects of climate change to livestock sector, national policies promoting adaptation and mitigation measures by national governments, development partners and the private sector.
The overall objective of this recent meeting was to validate the IGAD regional strategy on resilient and sustainable livestock sector to effects of climate change and to present strategy to high policy level for buy-in.
Member States from Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan committed to ensure operationalization and implementation of the strategy for sustainable and resilient livestock development in view of climate change for the IGAD region. The expected outcome was to present the strategy to the high-level government officials (Permanent Secretaries/ Undersecretaries/ State Ministers) for consensus.
IGAD Member States; Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda are home to 532 million heads of livestock out of which about 336 million are ruminants (cattle, small ruminants and camels), mainly managed by smallholder farmers and agro/pastoralists. The production systems are both a driver of, and vulnerable to effects of climate change and broader sustainability challenges. The region has been noted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as one of the most vulnerable regions of the world to climate variability and change. For example, approximately 75 per cent of livestock deaths in the IGAD region are attributed to severe drought that has repeatedly left herders, their families and entire communities destitute.
Worthy to note is that livestock is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the agriculture sector on the continent (accounting for about 9 percent of total emissions in SSA) and have significant potential for contribution to mitigation efforts. Livestock also account for significant freshwater withdrawal and land use for grazing. Unsustainable use of these natural resources can result in land degradation and water scarcity, jeopardizing the viability of livestock production itself. These vulnerabilities are compounded not only by the uncertainties of climate change, but also by the potential for shocks and disturbances related to the spread of disease (including zoonotic disease such as COVID-19) and price fluctuations that characterizes the globalized nature of livestock value chains.