FORAGE SYSTEMS FOR LESS GHG EMISSION AND MORE SOIL.. (LIFE+FORAGE4CLIMATE)
FORAGE SYSTEMS FOR LESS GHG EMISSION AND MORE SOIL CARBON SINK IN CONTINENTAL AND MEDITERRANEAN AGRICULTURAL AREAS
Start date: Sep 1, 2016,
End date: Aug 31, 2020
The agricultural sector and climate change are strongly interlinked. On the one hand, climate change has a significant impact on the quality and quantity of agricultural production and related revenues while, on the other hand, agricultural practices generate considerable amounts of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to global warming. According to the European Commission Roadmap for moving to a competitive low-carbon economy in 2050, EU Member States should reduce GHG emissions by 80-95% compared to 1990 levels. The agricultural sector should contribute to this objective by reducing its emissions by around half. Moreover, by 2021, Member States should prepare and maintain annual accounts that accurately reflect all emissions and removals resulting from agricultural activities on their territory, including croplands and pasturelands (Decision 529/2013).
The LIFE+FORAGE4CLIMATE project aims to demonstrate that agricultural systems connected to milk production can contribute to climate change mitigation through:
The adoption of good practices to reduce emissions, and maintain or increase the carbon stock in soil used to produce forage for ruminants; and
The development and dissemination of tools for the evaluation of the carbon stock and GHG emissions resulting from activities relating to land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) within the forage systems of two European climatic macro-areas: continental (for cowâs milk) and Mediterranean (for sheepâs and goatâs milk).
The project will strive to increase the awareness of farmers of the role played by agriculture in the preservation of the environment and the climate through the development of tools that can be used by producers and legislators to quantify GHG emissions sources and carbon sinks. It will also highlight the real benefits at farm level, both in terms of climate change mitigation and economic sustainability, of good practices that do not require reduced production levels.
The expected results of the project are:
A consolidation of good production practices that favour the carbon stock in the soil and limit greenhouse gas emissions related to the dairy sector;
Tools for the quantification of the carbon stock in the soil and greenhouse gas emissions;
Greater awareness of the role of agriculture in the mitigation of climate change;
A reduction in emissions by 530 000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year for cowâs milk production in the Po plain area; and
A reduction in emissions of 223 000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year for production of sheepâs milk and goatâs milk in the pilot areas in Sardinia and Greece.
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