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Coordinatore di progetto: Jean-Baptiste DOLLE

Demonstration actions to mitigate the carbon footprint of beef production in France, Ireland, Italy and Spain

Demonstration actions to mitigate the carbon footprint of beef production in France, Ireland, Italy and Spain Project objectives: Beef production generates greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions accounting for 6 % of all human induced missions (Gerber et al, 2013). Nevertheless, studies reveal that knowledge gaps exist amongst beef farmers about the use of different innovative best practices to reduce GHG emissions. Beef production can also regulate the climate through carbon storage in grassland soils. This dual role confers to livestock farming an important role in the fight against climate change and in the maintenance of the techno-economic and social sustainability of the activity. To cope with the lack of initiatives to set up a structuring approach for reducing GHG induced by beef production, the project goals to develop a BEEF CARBON ACTION PLAN, aimed at reducing beef carbon footprint by 15% over 10 years in 4 major and contrasting countries producing beef in Europe: France, Ireland, Italy and Spain. The project intends to promote innovative livestock farming systems and associated practices to ensure the technical, economic, environmental and social sustainability of beef farms, and thus to improve interactions between climate change and livestock production. To reach this overall objective, project partners aim to raise awareness among beef production actors and obtain the commitment of technicians, advisers and farmers in an approach aiming at improving environmental performance, encompassing the following sub-objectives: • Testing and promoting innovative best practices to reduce GHG emissions and increase carbon sequestration in beef farms, • Designing, demonstrating and disseminating innovative advisory approaches in livestock farming incorporating better environmental issues, so as to improve advisory services, • Structuring, building and promoting a collective and shared BEEF CARBON ACTION PLANS in France,Ireland, Italy and Spain. Investigations will include climate change mitigation, in relation with GHG emissions and carbon storage, but also eco-systemic services and other environmental impacts of livestock farming and socio-economic issues. Actions and means involved: The project involves 4 partner countries, representative of the EU meat production coming from the dairy and suckler beef herds and accounting for 32% of the EU cattle herd and representing a large diversity of production systems: France, Italy, Ireland, Spain. The country leading partners are research and development institutions -IDELE, Teagasc, CRA and ASOPROVAC in France, Ireland, Italy and Spain, respectively. They have a sound knowledge of beef production systems and their impact on environment, being involved in research and development projects on life cycle assessment of beef systems, reduction of GHG emissions and environmental issues, livestock farming techniques, macro and micro-economics, support to farm advisory services,etc. They will manage regional and national coordination and be involved in European partnership. The partners will implement the following actions: 1. Inventory of existing methodologies and practices, information sharing, harmonization,building a common GHG assessment methodology, updating advisory tools to allow comparison. Construction of a common beef carbon framework composed of innovative practices aiming at reducing GHG emissions and increasing carbon sequestration (action C.1), 2. Training advisers (national and regional) and innovative farmers involved in the project, to build a common knowledge (action C.2), 3. Creating a LIFE BEEF CARBON demonstrative farm observatory composed by 2,000 beef farms, taking part in the 1st beef carbon assessment actions operated at such a large scale, covering several production contexts (action C.3), 4. Construction of a network of 172 innovative farms to test/apply/promote innovative techniques to reduce GHG emissions and increase carbon storage. Development, monitoring and promotion of beef farms with a low carbon footprint (action C.4), 5. Establishment of national/EU carbon awareness and mobilization based on a EU beef carbon farmers’ network, allowing exchanges between farmers and advisers in the 4 countries, and a feedback from farmers on the acceptability/feasibility of the BEEF CARBON ACTION PLANS relying on the innovative techniques tested at farm level (action C.5), 6. Development of national French/Irish/Italian/Spanish BEEF CARBON ACTION PLANS and a relevant partnership strategy for other national and UE levels. These ACTION PLANS will demonstrate to the beef value chains the interest and feasibility of this approach aiming at reducing the beef carbon footprint by 15% (action C6). Expected results (outputs and quantified achievements): The expected deliverables and results are: • Calculation tools to evaluate GHG emissions, beef carbon footprint and decision making tools used by farmers and advisors at farm level, • A GHG emissions assessment on 2,000 demonstrative beef farms, corresponding to different production systems (different livestock, crops, grassland management, soil types, weather conditions…) • A European database and farms observatory, producing technical and environmental results from beef demonstrative farms distributed in 4 countries • A carbon mitigation plan applied in 172 innovative beef farms • A European network including 150 advisers and 172 innovative farmers • An evaluation of several innovative mitigation practices applied to beef farms • 4 BEEF CARBON ACTION PLANS for France, Italy, Ireland and Spain, describing the technical mitigation action plans and the advisory strategy to develop them at other national and European levels • An economic and social feasibility analysis for carbon plan implementation at beef production level • At the end of the project, a reduction of GHG emissions of 119,000 tons CO2 eq, meeting to the goal of 15% abatement applied on the demonstrative and innovative farms. Does the proposal address one or more of the EU policy priorities for 2014 listed in section 2 of the Guidelines for Applicants? Yes X No The project addresses two priorities areas of LIFE programme, and in particular the following UE policy priorities for 2014 : 1. Priority area of climate change mitigation, in particular UE policy priorities for 2014related to: • Greenhouse gas accounting of land use: “Projects which facilitate the inclusion of monitoring of potentials for carbon storage or emission” • Agriculture: “project proposals focusing on synergies between environmental and climate actions associated with agriculture, forests and soils ("green sector") […] Projects which implement low emission farming practices” The LIFE BEEF CARBON project aims to better measure GHG emissions and carbon storage, identify, demonstrate and disseminate innovative good practices on farm to significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to increase carbon storage through grassland management at beef production level and thus particularly addresses those two policy priorities. 2. Priority area of climate change adaptation, in particular UE policy priorities for 2014related to “Projects with demonstration and transferability potential […] as will green infrastructure and ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation, and projects aiming to promote innovative adaptation technologies.” The LIFE BEEF CARBON project will address adaptation strategies, ensuring that the beef carbon action plan is consistent with climate change adaptation strategies. The innovative mitigating practices proposed will incorporate the impact of climate change on the evolution of grazing periods, impact of carbon in soils, use of buildings in summer, shifting cultivation cycles… so as to increase the resilience of production systems in their pedo-climatic context. Is your project significantly biodiversity- Yes X No Owing to the surface areas mobilized to produce forage and feed, ruminant systems, and particularly beef production, play an important role on biodiversity. The large part of grassland and the crops combination (maize, cereals and legumes) are favorable to fauna and flora biodiversity. The spatial organization creates the rural landscape biodiversity, reduces soil erosion, and contributes to pollination… By applying innovative mitigation practices, the project may have a positive impact on biodiversity.The environmental assessment led in the project will allow assessment and preservation of the positive contribution of beef production to biodiversity, in relation with carbon sequestration, fauna and flora biodiversity, while reducing the carbon footprint.
Elenco strutture
Institut de l'Elevage - Environment-Building Departement - Environment-Building Departement
Commissione Europea - Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) Unit B3 LIFE and CIP Eco-Innovation - Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) Unit B3 LIFE and CIP Eco-Innovation
Bord Bia - Irish Food Board - Irish Food Board
Asoprovac Castilla y Leon
Chambre Régionale d'Agriculture d'Auvergne
Chambre Régionale d'Agriculture de Bourgogne
Chambre Régionale d'Agriculture de Bretagne
Chambre Régionale d'Agriculture de Midi-Pyrénées
Chambre Régionale d'Agriculture de Normandie
Chambre Régionale d'Agriculture de pays de la Loire
Coop de France
Elevage Conseil Loire Anjou
Maison de l'Elevage - EDE du Tarn
France Conseil Elevage
Littoral Normand, Syndicat de Controle Laitier de la Manche
Unions Régionales du Grand Ouest
CRA - Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l'analisi dell'economia agraria

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