There is a global concern for greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture is considered as one of the major contributors due to the release of nitrous oxide from agricultural soils and emissions of methane from livestock and rice production, or to other factors like the release of CO2 as result of indirect land-use changes. The exact contribution, however, of agriculture in GHG emissions and carbon sequestration is uncertain. Improvements are needed, including through the use of innovative instruments like remote sensing applications for large areas, to assess the role of agriculture and to determine the effect of different interventions. In addition, the precision/accuracy needed for different types of information needs is still an open debate. This working group focuses the technical possibilities to assess and mitigate GHG-emissions in production systems and to explore if investments in maximizing precision / accuracy are truly needed (ie, clarify which types of knowledge is critical for decision making and accounting).
Born and educated in the Netherlands, Cecile came to New Zealand and AgResearch in 1995 and now leads the nitrous oxide (N2O) research team which focuses on developing mitigation strategies for reducing N2O emissions from pastoral soils. As a Principal Investigator at the New Zealand Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC), she also leads the N2O research programme conducted through the NZAGRC
Cecile is also the Programme Leader for the P21 Research Programme – Environment, a cross-organisation R&D programme focused on the development of farmer-friendly tools and technologies for reducing losses of nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment and faecal indicator organisms to our surface water bodies. In this role, she is working closely with the pastoral industry, in particular DairyNZ, Fonterra and Beef+Lamb NZ, and the collaborating research organisations.
Cecile was the New Zealand representative on an international panel to review the N2O inventory methodology of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a role for which she was honoured with a copy of the 2007 Nobel Peace prize that was awarded jointly to Al Gore and the IPCC. She is working closely with MAFPolicy in coordinating and conducting national research programmes on N2O emissions from soil to improve New Zealand’s N2O inventory methodology. She currently leads several N2O research programme including one of the four national field trials investigating the effect of nitrification inhibitors on pasture response and N2O emissions.
Jac Meijs is a senior scientist in Animal Husbandry and Grass and Forage Systems; his PhD-thesis was on herbage intake by grazing dairy cows. He has over 36 years of professional experience in research and research management; the last 20 years he is focussing on developing more sustainable agricultural systems.
From 1990 to 2000 he was deputy director of the Research Station for cattle husbandry in Lelystad; from 2000 to 2010 he was director R&D of Biologica, the Dutch organisation of organic farming and food. In both functions he has built up a lot of experience in managing research groups and in developing participatory research with farmers and other stakeholders.
Since October 2010 he is program manager at WageningenUR co-coordinating the Livestock Research Group of the Global Research Alliance on agricultural greenhouse gases (GRA) in which 37 countries participate now.
Peter Kuikman is an experienced senior researcher and consultant on land use, agriculture, greenhouse gas emissions and land use change at ALTERRA in the Soil Science Centre at Wageningen University and Research Center (WUR). His major expertise is in the area of environmental assessments and policies, greenhouse gas emissions, microbial transformations of C and N and dynamics and sequestration of C in soils. He is leading projects on defining and assessing sustainability issues in agriculture, biobased economy and climate change mitigation and on designing methodologies and UNFCCC reporting systems for greenhouse gases and soil carbon. He is active in EU projects on policy options for including LULUCF in a community reduction commitment and in FP7 projects Fertiplus and Smartsoil on return of nutrients in municipal waste as fertilizer and on sustainable management of soils as resource under climate change. He was project leader for the EU project CLIMSOIL assessing the interactions between Climate Change and soils and participated in other relevant EU projects such as RAMSOIL (Risk Assessment Methodologies on soils) and PICCMAT (assessment and calculation of the mitigation potential of measures in EU agricultural production). He is a member of the Science Advisory Group of the New Zealand Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium PGGRC. He was projectleader for the Dutch national programme on Reduction of non – CO2 greenhouse gases from agriculture (2000 – 2004). He participated in the preparation of the 3rd IPCC Assessment Report for working group 3 on mitigation as member of the Technical Support Unit for IPCC. He advises the Dutch government on issues related to monitoring and reporting emissions greenhouse gasses from agriculture, land use and land use change and forestry and on issues related to negotiations at EU- and UNFCCC levels. He has published appr. 200 papers and reports of 60 plus papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
1 Theun Vellinga en Henning Steinfeld: Future livestock developments and mitigation strategies.
2 Oene Oenema, Jean Francois Souzanna and Peter Kuikman:
Research on mitigating GHG emissions in agriculture: state of the art and priorities for the future.
Recommended reading materials (clickable)
Strategies to mitigate nitrous oxide emissions from herbivore production systems
R. L. M. Schils, J. Eriksen, S. F. Ledgard, Th. V. Vellinga, P. J. Kuikman, J. Luo, S. O. Petersen and G. L. Velthof
Options for the abatement of methane and nitrous oxide from ruminant production: A review
R.J. Eckard, C. Grainger, C.A.M. de Klein
Systems dynamics and the spatial distribution of methane emissions from African domestic ruminants to 2030
M. Herrero, P.K. Thornton, R. Kruska, R.S. Reid
Budgeting anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission from Indian livestock using country-specific emission coefficients
Mahadeswara Swamy and Sumana Bhattacharya
Greenhouse gas mitigation in land use – measuring economic potential
Dominic Moran and Kimberly Pratt
Feeding the world’s increasing population while limiting climate change impacts: linking N2O and CH4 emissions from agriculture to population growth
Christy L. van Beek, Bastiaan G. Meerburg, Rene´ L.M. Schils,Jan Verhagen, Peter J. Kuikman
Technical and policy aspects of strategies to decrease greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture
Oene Oenema, Gerard Velthof & Peter Kuikman
A farm level approach to define successful mitigation strategies for GHG
emissions from ruminant livestock systems
R.L.M. Schils, A. Verhagen, H.F.M. Aarts and L.B.J. Sˇ ebek
Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the Dairy Sector - A Life Cycle Assessment
Evaluation of the livestock sector's contribution to the EU greenhouse gas emissions (GGELS) – final report. European Commission, Joint Research Centre.
Adrian Leip, Franz Weiss, Tom Wassenaar, Ignacio Perez, Thomas Fellmann, Philippe
Loudjani, Francesco Tubiello, David Grandgirard, Suvi Monni, Katarzyna Biala1 (2010)
The effect of farm and catchment management on nitrogen transformations and N2O losses from pastoral systems — can we offset the effects of future intensification?
Cecile AM de Klein and Ross M Monaghan
Greenhouse gas mitigation in animal production: towards an integrated life cycle sustainability assessment
IJM de Boer, C Cederberg, S Eady, S Gollnow, T Kristensen, M Macleod, M Meul, T Nemecek, LT Phong, G Thoma, HMG van der Werf, AG Williams and MA Zonderland-Thomassen