New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC) Greenhouse Gas Measurement (GGM) Project

In July 2022, the Greenhouse Gas Measurement (GGM) Project was initiated to advance a regional programme of work to promote innovation and research on shared challenges in the agricultural sector, including issues such as sustainable agriculture, indigenous development, and climate change across southern Africa. The project was formed through a partnership between Future Africa at the University of Pretoria, and the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC). It is funded by the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases as part of its commitment to support developing countries in enhancing their scientific capability and institutional capacity to estimate and track agricultural greenhouse gas (GhG) emissions.

The GGM project aims to provide direction for future collaborative research projects and action on GhG measurement and mitigation in the agricultural sector, across southern Africa. It also aims to facilitate regional and national capability and capacity – both human and infrastructure – to undertake agricultural GhG research and help strengthen existing as well as build new collaborations with national and international organisations to improve programme delivery. To deliver the regional collaborative activities, a twelve-month position was established at Future Africa for a postdoctoral student to help build a strong and integrated relationship between the science and policy aspects of agricultural GhGs, including utilising unique opportunities from indigenous perspectives.

Three key milestones were identified for the project, of which the first two have been achieved. The first was to identify and formalise operational relationships with key stakeholders in the region and coordination across the relevant institutions. The second was to conduct a situational analysis on the state of play of agricultural GhG coordination and research in Southern Africa and produce a report.

The report details:

  1. Current and planned research projects around agricultural GhGs in the region.
  2. Actors (universities, research institutions, networks, and collaborators) involved, including the interests they represent, as well as their capacity to engage, level of funding, their established means and networks of communication, level of collaboration, and possible synergies.
  3. Agricultural GhG-related capability, including infrastructure.
  4. Respective responsibilities of ministries and agencies for agricultural greenhouse research and nationally determined contributions (NDC), development processes and updates, politics, and policies.
  5. The nature of funding mechanisms and any other relevant information.

The third milestone is to design and develop a programme work plan in line with the investment principles and programmes of the project partners identified in the first milestone and the outcomes and recommendations from the second milestone. Work towards this milestone is currently ongoing.

In addition to the milestones, a stakeholder engagement workshop was held in March 2023 to discuss “Enhancing partnerships in the Southern African region for the reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions” through establishment of virtual infrastructure at the ARUA Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Food Systems (ARUA-SFS) to coordinate research on measurement and mitigation of agricultural GhG emission in Southern African regions.

The project is expected to conclude at the end of June 2023.