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NZ to lead international greenhouse gas research

27 November 2007 Media Statement

NZ to lead international research into greenhouse gas emissions from livestock

New Zealand is to lead an international network to research greenhouse gas emissions from livestock, Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton and Climate Change Minister David Parker announced today.

“This work will reinforce the sustainability of our agriculture and forestry products internationally. The Labour-Progressive government is confident that New Zealand has the talent and the will to be an international leader in the response to climate change," Jim Anderton said.

David Parker says the Livestock Emissions and Abatement Research Network (LEARN) will focus strongly on research. “There may also be scope to evolve the network to provide opportunities for partnerships between industry and policy in the future.”

The aim of LEARN is for international researchers to collaborate to better measure greenhouse gas emissions from livestock. The network will also help develop cost-effective and practical means to reduce these emissions. It will focus on sharing information, facilitating discussion and promoting face-to-face contact between researchers around the world.

LEARN proposes to cover research into methane emissions from ruminant livestock, nitrous oxide emissions from grazed grassland, an integrated approach to reducing emissions across an entire farm, and a national inventory of agricultural emissions.

The Ministers say a number of countries are interested in LEARN and it is clear there is desire for greater international collaboration in this important area of research. The government is keen to encourage stronger links between New Zealand and international research.

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New Zealand has committed funding to support LEARN and is seeking feedback and expressions of interest from countries in participating in this initiative.
The idea for the network was raised at side events on agriculture and land use at the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting held in Bonn in May this year.

The inaugural LEARN meeting will be held in Christchurch on 1 December and researchers and government officials from up to 25 countries are expected to attend.

ENDS

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