The Mazingira Team during the 2018 Retreat. photo credit Lutz Merbold
‘Mazingira’ is the Swahili word for ‘environment’. The Mazingira Centre is an environmental research and educational facility established by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi. The recent (2014) establishment of the Mazingira Centre, which is fully operational since 2016, promises a step change in Africa’s environmental research infrastructure and capacity.
As part of the Sustainable Livestock Systems program of ILRI, research at the Mazingira Centre focuses on understanding and managing the environmental footprint of agricultural production systems – primarily livestock systems – without hampering productivity. It aims to provide accurate context-specific information on the environmental impacts, particularly on nutrient cycles and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of current livestock, to enable predictions of intensification in these systems, and opportunities to mitigate and to adapt to climate change.
Staff at Mazingira Centre and its partners are establishing:
The first accurate and verifiable greenhouse gas emission levels (baseline) of crop and livestock production systems and land-use changes in Africa;
Country specific frameworks for measuring, reporting and verification (MRVs) of GHG emissions from agricultural systems in Africa and developing countries across the globe to implement reliable low emissions development strategies (LEDS);
Robust frameworks for assessing the socioeconomic impacts of environmental degradation in the developing world;
New means of monitoring African land degradation, soil fertility, soil erosion and hydrology at farm to landscape scales; and
Experimental programs, building on ILRI’s longstanding feed and forage expertise, to develop ruminant feeding regimes that improve animal production while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions per unit of milk or meat (so-called GHG emission intensities).