The 5th Greenhouse Gas and Animal Agriculture (GGAA) scientific conference, taking place in UCD from 23 to 26 June, has been launched by Simon Coveney TD, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The conference is being organised by Teagasc and UCD, and supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the EPA and the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre, and Ministry for Primary Industries. Over 400 delegates from over 40 countries will attend.
The upcoming conference will bring together leading scientists from across the world to present up-to-date research findings on research to find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. Globally, animal agriculture contributes significantly to agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. This is also the case in Ireland because of the size and importance of our beef and dairy industries in our economy. “Generally, Irish dairy and beef farmers are very good at producing milk and beef with a low carbon footprint, but we must continue to improve and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with milk and beef production. This is important both for the national inventory of GHG emissions, and also because food retailers and consumers are increasingly interested to know that producers are working to improve their emissions profile,” said Conference Chairman, Dr. Frank O’Mara from Teagasc.
Announcing details of the upcoming conference, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD, said: “The challenge of limiting greenhouse gas emissions is a high priority for Ireland. We must work to ensure that the ambitious targets for green growth in Food Harvest 2020 can be met while also achieving our greenhouse gas emissions targets. Only through research and innovative new ways of producing food can we reduce emissions from our animal production systems while increasing output.”
This conference will present the state of the art in research on animal greenhouse gas emissions. “Leading researchers will deal with topics such as methane emissions from ruminants, emissions from manure, how to assess emissions from farm systems, and how solutions can be put into practice. The conference is highly relevant for Ireland, and Irish scientists will share and exchange information with their international colleagues;” said Conference Secretary, Dr. Tommy Boland from UCD.
The conference was last held in Banff, Canada in 2010, and previous conferences were in New Zealand, Switzerland and Japan. Selecting Ireland as the venue for the 2013 conference is an acknowledgement of the leadership Ireland has taken on this issue internationally, and the contribution that Irish scientists are making to global efforts to tackle this problem