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Water use in livestock production systems and supply chains

Summary of the guidelines for assessment










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    Book (stand-alone)
    Water use in livestock production systems and supply chains. Guidelines for assessment
    Version 1
    2019
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    The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for Water Use Assessment, composed by 30 international experts, has developed guidelines on water footprinting for livestock supply chains. The mandate of the Water TAG was to provide recommendations to monitor the environmental performance of feed and livestock supply chains over time so that progress towards improvement targets can be measured; apply the guidelines for feed and water demand of small ruminants, poultry, large ruminants and pig supply chains; build on and go beyond the existing FAO LEAP guidelines; and pursue alignment with relevant International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards, specifically ISO 14040, ISO 14044 (ISO, 2006b and 2006a) and ISO 14046 (ISO, 2014). The guidelines on water use assessment include the impact assessment: the assessment of the environmental performance related to water use of a livestock-related system by assessing potential environmental impacts of blue water consumption following the water scarcity footprint according to the framework provided by ISO 14046 (ISO, 2014); and the assessment of the system’s productivity of green and blue water. The guidelines are thus intended to support the optimization of use of water resources and the identification of opportunities to decrease the potential impacts of water use in livestock production. The Water TAG guidance is relevant for livestock production systems, including feed production from croplands and grasslands, and production and processing of livestock products (cradle-to-gate). It addresses all livestock production systems and livestock species considered in existing LEAP animal guidelines: poultry, pig, small ruminant and large ruminant supply chains.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Environmental performance of feed additives in livestock supply chains. Guidelines for assessment
    Version 1
    2020
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    The production and the use of feed additives influence the environmental impact of livestock production. The use of feed additives significantly acts on feed efficiency, and thus animal and environmental performance. The methodology developed in these guidelines aims to introduce a harmonized international approach to the assessment of the environmental performance of feed additives in livestock supply chains taking into consideration the impact of their production and use all along the supply chain for large ruminants, pigs and poultry. The objective of this technical document is twofold: on the one hand, to provide detailed guidance on how to measure the environmental performance of the production of feed additives, and on the other hand, how to measure the effects of feed additives on the environmental performance of livestock products. The guidelines on the environmental performance of feed additives in livestock supply chains are intended to be used with other published LEAP guidelines.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Nutrient flows and associated environmental impacts in livestock supply chains. Guidelines for assessment
    Version 1
    2018
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    The aim of the methodology developed in these guidelines is to introduce a harmonized international approach assessing nutrient flows and impact assessment for eutrophication and acidification for livestock supply chains taking the specificity of the various production systems involved into consideration. The methodology strives to increase understanding of nutrient use efficiency and associated environmental impacts and to facilitate the improvement of livestock systems’ environmental performance. The guidelines are a product of the Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) Partnership, a multi-stakeholder initiative whose goal is to improve the environmental sustainability of livestock sector through better metrics and data. Nutrient use in livestock production systems increased over the last decades due to the increased demand for livestock production. This demand is mainly driven by the increase in the population growth, population income, and urbanization. Consequently, in livestock supply chains, nutrient losses into the environment have contributed to environmental burdens such as climate change, air and water pollution, degradation of soil quality, loss of biodiversity and human health issues. Therefore, there is strong interest in measuring nutrient flows to improve the environmental performance of the livestock sector. The objectives of these guidelines are: • To develop a harmonized, science-based approach resting on a consensus among the sector’s stakeholders; • To recommend a scientific, but at the same time practical, an approach that builds on existing or developing methodologies; • To promote a harmonised approach to assess nutrient flows and impact assessment, relevant for global livestock supply chains; • To identify the principal areas where ambiguity or differing views exist concerning the methodological framework. During the development process, these guidelines were submitted for technical review and public review. The purpose is to strengthen the advice provided and ensure it meets the needs of those seeking to improve nutrient use efficiency and environmental performance through sound assessment practice. This document is not intended to remain static. It will be updated and improved as the sector evolves and more stakeholders become involved in the LEAP, and as new methodological frameworks and data become available. The guidelines developed by the LEAP Partnership gain strength because they represent a multi-actor coordinated cross-sectoral and international effort to harmonize assessment approaches. Ideally, the harmonization leads to greater understanding, transparent application and communication of metrics, and, not least, real and measurable improvement in environmental performance.

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