Livestock production systems dataset for global sustainability assessments

Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) researchers collaborated with partners to construct a global dataset describing all livestock production systems in terms of feed requirements, milk and meat productivity, and GHG emissions intensity.

Livestock, Africa © prill | iStock

Livestock, Africa

Livestock are the source of 33% of the protein in human diets. They utilize 30% of the global land area and they are responsible for about 12% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

In 2013 ESM researchers, in collaboration with researchers from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) of Australia and the International Livestock Institute (ILRI), Nairobi, Kenya, constructed a global dataset describing all livestock production systems in terms of feed requirements, milk and meat productivity, and GHG emissions intensity. 

The dataset is a unique, biologically consistent, spatially disaggregated global livestock dataset containing information on biomass use, production, feed efficiency, excretion, and greenhouse gas emissions for 28 regions, 8 livestock production systems, 4 animal species (cattle, small ruminants, pigs, and poultry), and 3 livestock products (milk, meat, and eggs).

It contains over 50 new global maps containing high-resolution information for understanding the multiple roles (biophysical, economic, social) that livestock can play in different parts of the world.

The data provide critical information for developing targeted, sustainable solutions for the livestock sector and its widely ranging contribution to the global food system.


Figure 1

Methane emissions by bovines in the year 2000 (Source: Herrero [1])



References

[1] Herrero M, et al. (2013). Biomass use, production, feed efficiencies, and greenhouse gas emissions from global livestock systems. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 10.1073/pnas.1308149110.

Collaborators

Mario Herrero (ILRI and CSIRO).


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Last edited: 22 May 2014

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