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The Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change Research Programme (SLMACC) Where have we got to? Gerald Rys Science Policy Ministry for Primary Industries. SLMACC Background. One of 12 programmes under 2007 SLMACC “Plan of Action”

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The Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change Research Programme(SLMACC)Where have we got to?Gerald Rys Science Policy Ministry for Primary Industries

Slmacc background
SLMACC Background

One of 12 programmes under 2007 SLMACC “Plan of Action”

Over $42 million invested through annual funding cycle, partially administered by MBIE

Addresses Climate Change for the land based sectors, under the paradigm of sustainable land management

Research themes
Research Themes

Projects of 1 or 3 years duration that address:

impacts and adaptation to climate change

mitigation of greenhouse gases in agriculture

enhancements of carbon sinks through forestry

cross-cutting topics on economic, social and systems issues

Slmacc research framework
SLMACC Research Framework

Framework for all research under the “Plan of Action”

Addresses the provision of public good research

Research to respond to international obligations

Positions NZ as a world leader in livestock and planted forestry CC research

Slmacc research framework outcomes
SLMACC Research Framework (outcomes)

Builds capacity - new researchers and enhancing skills

Allows cross-sectoral responses between land sectors (e.g. horticulture, arable, dairy, sheep, beef) and other sectors (e.g. industrial, transport, energy, consumer)

Recognises the ongoing information and data base requirements, data transfer and informatics

Slmacc output stakeholders
SLMACC Output Stakeholders

Inform climate change policies for central and local government, as well as industries

Improve GHG inventory

Guide further research

Inform farmers and foresters to support management decisions

Support private companies that wish to commercialise products

What have we learnt about mitigation and adaptation
What have we Learnt about Mitigation and Adaptation?

The direct impacts of climate change on NZ are becoming more certain

We are dealing with complex and variable biological systems that have evolved over 10s of millions of years, and so it will not be an easy task to modify them

There are an infinitely variable and flexible number of options, most of which pose many unknown challenges

What does this mean for mitigation and adaptation
What does this Mean for Mitigation and Adaptation?

Unlikely to be one silver bullet to address mitigation of greenhouse gases and adaptation to climate change, so a strong multi-pronged research programme is required

In 2013, we still have few direct mitigation options for methane but we have some leads that show strong promise. Nitrous oxide is more certain, with nitrification inhibitors being the most prominent.

Spill over benefits are important
Spill-over Benefits are Important

The initial objective of SLMACC was to support climate change within a context of sustainable land management

The MPI Doubling of Exports by 2025 needs to be done within a framework of long term sustainability

Supports other policy areas e.g. water quality, general on farm decision making, that will improve productivity, sustainability and resource use

Spillover benefits examples
Spillover Benefits - examples

All nitrous oxide research can have nitrogen use efficiency and water quality benefits as well

Soil carbon research can have a marked impact on improving soil quality with productivity benefits

Decision support tools can enable farmers to improve management of productivity, the environment, efficiency and profitability

Impacts and adaptation research theme
Impacts and Adaptation Research Theme

SLMACC is the only programme dedicated to impacts and adaptation of climate change in the land based sectors

Research on first order climate impacts e.g. temperature, rainfall, wind, carbon dioxide is well understood

Recent work has looked at second order impacts of fire, disease, pollination, nutrient cycling, ecosystem services. Not all second order impacts have been considered. Third order little studied

Impacts and adaptation research theme1
Impacts and Adaptation Research Theme

Limited work to assess interactions and limited work on the economic, social and broader integrated systems impacts, and land use change

A few studies have looked at adaptation requirements but this has not been comprehensive. There are few NZ studies on the impacts and adaptation to changing variability

Needs update every 5 years with new IPCC scenarios release

Mitigation forestry research theme
Mitigation Forestry Research Theme

SLMACC and LUCAS are the key forestry sinks research programmes

LUCAS looks at changing land use classes under Kyoto, SLMACC focus is the knowledge base for forest carbon productivity, both now and in the future

Various issues related to forestry


Range of species, both planted and indigenous

Impacts of climate change over a long life cycle

Mitigation forestry research theme1
Mitigation Forestry Research Theme

Decision support tools have been developed and a range of situations addressed e.g. steep hill country forestry

In recent years, projects have been of direct support to MPI ETS policy and international LULUCF policy development

The carbon sequestration rates of a range of minor species have not been addressed in detail and information on indigenous species is limited

Only one project on role and potential of biofuels

Mitigation agriculture research theme
Mitigation Agriculture Research Theme

Collaboration with the PGGRC programme and NZAGRC

Research in 4 key areas of ruminant methane research;

rumen genomics,

assessment of inhibitory chemicals and vaccine,

exploiting animal methane variation and

forage assessment

Programme has supported farm systems model enhancement to address ghg emissions

Mitigation agriculture research theme1
Mitigation Agriculture Research Theme

In the nitrous oxide area

- novel research looking at nitrous oxide emissions from leaves

- the Waikato river, and

- ammonium emissions

Several projects looking at soil carbon including :

assessment methodologies, modelling, biochar impact on soils and animals

methanotropes as a waste management system

Further comments on mitigation agriculture theme
Further Comments on Mitigation Agriculture Theme

NZ should continue to invest in technologies that increase the efficiency of production as this will decrease emissions per unit of output (e.g. animal breeding, nutrient use efficiency, animal health, animal fertility and longevity, and feeding)

Invest in technologies and practices that reduce emissions per unit of substrate e.g. inhibition of rumen methane, nitrous oxide from urine patches. Need for LCA

Increase adoption of current technologies and future new technologies

Ensure that national accounting systems can capture the benefits of mitigation actions on farm

Cross cutting research theme
Cross Cutting Research Theme

Has been difficult area to obtain high quality bids

Initially there were also few good social science bids, leading to development of a Climate Change Social Science research strategy for the Land Sector.

Several proposals in the technology transfer priority area were rejected

Cross cutting research theme1
Cross Cutting Research Theme

Key projects that were supported include

- Global Warming Potential assessment,

- Project on a global trade model to assess the impacts of global climate change on NZ trade. This will be a key tool to use in future negotiations.

- 3 Maori focused projects have been carried out

Conclusions land based sector research progress
Conclusions –Land Based Sector Research Progress

Biological systems are complex, and the options are many and variable. There are significant spillover benefits from climate change research into sustainable land management

Significant progress has been made on first order impacts to climate change but second order, third order, interactions and how to adapt are less well understood

Understanding forest sinks has been greatly enhanced, however, minor and indigenous species, and biofuels have had few studies

Conclusions land based sector research progress1
Conclusions –Land Based Sector Research Progress

Limited progress on methane, but nitrification inhibitors are effective in reducing nitrous oxide. Limited progress on soil carbon

Social, economic, Maori and systems have had few studies

Thank You


The hundreds of scientists and technicians that have carried out the research