Canadian Cattlemen Develop Sustainable Livestock

CANADA - Canada Cattlemen's Association (CCA) Manager of Environmental Affairs, Fawn Jackson, participated in a multi-stakeholder platform meeting in the Brazilian capital of Brasília, to discuss 'Restoring value to grasslands.' The workshop is part of a larger initiative, The Global Agenda of Action (GAA) in Support of Sustainable Livestock Sector Development.
calendar icon 12 June 2012
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The GAA is an initiative undertaken by a multitude of stakeholders to address the growing challenge of fulfilling the increased demand for meat with limited resources. The GAA premise is that as the demand for livestock products continues to grow globally it needs to do so in the most environmentally, socially and economically sound manner.

The initiative was spurred by a recommendation from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nation's (UN) Committee on Agriculture to have the FAO actively engage in a global dialogue with the livestock sector. Following initial consultations the GAA outlined three initial focus areas: 'Closing the efficiency gap in natural resource use,' 'Reduced discharge: Towards zero discharge' and 'Restoring value to grasslands.'

Appropriately managed grasslands can provide large natural resource benefits in the form of carbon sequestration, provision of water services, and biodiversity. During the workshop on 'Restoring value to grasslands' the topics of discussion focused on the technical interventions, policy and the institutional tools that can be used to optimize these benefits.

Ms Jackson shared Canada's current grassland strategies with the workshop participants.

"It is extremely important that all stakeholders in the global livestock industry work together to achieve sustainable outcomes. Livestock producers from around the world face similar challenges and share common goals. We all want to be able to provide for our families through caring for the land and the livestock. It is our job to ensure that producers everywhere are able to continue doing that," she said.

Some of the proposed solutions to returning value to grasslands include sharing of existing data, information and experiences, developing methods to appropriately value grasslands economically, socially and environmentally and creating awareness through advocacy on the importance and value of grasslands to societal well-being.

Ms Jackson said the knowledge and experiences shared at the workshop was of great value and will go a long way to forming a sound global strategy. "All stakeholders had many lessons to share that we, as a global industry, can learn from as we continue on with this process," she said.

Now that the three multi-stakeholder platform meetings have taken place an official launch of the GAA is expected for September of 2012.

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