Programme for Climate-Smart Livestock Systems (PCSL)

Two calves
C. Hanotte (ILRI)

Project description

The Programme for Climate Smart Livestock (PCSL) project aims to ensure that key actors in the livestock sector increasingly include climate change adaptation and mitigation in their farming practices, sector strategies and investment projects. The project focuses on the combination of scientific data collection and solution-led field research on climate-smart livestock production. The results are being mainstreamed via large-scale investment projects. Together with livestock keepers, promising climate-smart livestock systems are being developed by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and are undergoing practical trials. They include improvements in the cultivation of specific fodder crops, feed processing as well as manure and pasture management. The contribution of livestock systems to climate change mitigation and adaptation is demonstrated through on-site measurements and laboratory investigations. These findings are being disseminated through training-the-trainer measures and are included in the curricula of relevant training and extension organizations. At policy level, possible development paths in the livestock sector are being designed as part of multi-stakeholder working groups, and participatory scenario planning for targeted decision-making is used. This ensures that the expected short, medium and long-term impacts of climate change on the livestock sector are taken into account in the planning of policy frameworks, strategies and investment projects. In addition, ILRI supports partner countries in shifting their measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) systems to tier 2 approaches in the livestock sector. This is particularly relevant in demonstrating the effectiveness of climate change mitigation measures, thus enabling countries to improve their reporting on the Paris Agreement.

Expected outcomes

  • Each of the three focus countries (Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda) will incorporate evidence and strategic options generated by the project into one livestock sector strategy.
  • The CCAFS scenarios approach will be used to help decision-makers target and implement interventions that aim at improving livestock development in a climate-smart way, thereby improving the availability of nutrient-rich foods and access to income that helps boost food security for livestock keepers.
  • In the three focus countries, 10,000 trained livestock keepers will apply validated measures for climate-smart livestock systems.

Gender and youth

This project was designed based on previous research by ILRI regarding the differences between men and women in livestock keeping practices, the ability to adopt adaptation measures, and the understanding that gender roles must be considered when designing interventions.

More information

For more information, please contact the project leader Polly Ericksen, ILRI (

Project Deliverables

  • Quantifying greenhouse gas emissions attributable to smallholder livestock systems in western Kenya: Cradle to farm gate life cycle assessment

  • Digestibility and metabolizable energy intake equations of tropical ruminant forages using nutrient concentration of cattle faeces

  • Protocol for a Tier 2 approach to generate region-specific enteric methane emission factors (EF) for cattle kept in smallholder systems

  • Protocol for generating region-specific Tier 2 emission factors for methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from cattle manure

  • Report on regional learning platform webinar series

  • Current situation and plausible future scenarios for livestock management systems under climate change in Africa

  • Ethiopia country stocktake report: Climate change impacts on livestock systems and production

  • Program for climate-smart livestock systems

  • Kenya country stocktake report: Climate change impacts on livestock systems and production

  • Uganda country stocktake report: Climate change impacts on livestock systems and production

  • Country studies on climate and livestock policy coherence

  • Greenhouse gas emissions and fertiliser quality from cattle manure heaps in Kenya

  • Enteric methane production from cattle fed on three tropical grasses in East Africa

  • Reducing Climate-Induced Heat Stress in Pigs in Uganda: Policy Actions. Policy engagement workshop report

  • The effects of climate on decomposition of cattle, sheep and goat manure in Kenyan tropical pastures

  • The livestock sector, the pandemic, climate change and natural resource use in sub-Saharan Africa