Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue T.D., and Minister of State with special responsibility for research and innovation Martin Heydon T.D., today launched a new landmark research initiative with the New Zealand Minister for Agriculture, Damien O’Connor M.P..
The Joint Research Mechanism (JRM) will focus on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and enhanced Carbon sequestration in ruminant, pasture-based production systems.
It comes following the signing of a Memorandum of Arrangement (MoA) governing the JRM by Secretary General of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Brendan Gleeson and the Director General of New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries, Ray Smith.
Marking the signing of the MoA, Minister McConalogue stated “I am delighted to see the launch of this new pilot Joint Research Mechanism between Ireland and New Zealand. Our two countries have a strong existing collaboration in areas such as grassland research and animal breeding, and in more recent years, in climate related research. However, the time is now right to increase the level of collaboration in research that will accelerate the discovery of scientific innovations to mitigate the impact of agriculture on climate change. I want to formally acknowledge the support and commitment of New Zealand’s Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor and his officials in the Ministry of Primary Industries in reaching this milestone”
Minister O’Connor stated “New Zealand and Ireland have a long history of positive engagement in sustainable agriculture, including climate action. Both Ireland and New Zealand are leading agri-food producing nations, and therefore a lot is resting on our ability to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. There is the urgent need to find solutions that address the impact of agricultural production systems on the climate, water quality, and biodiversity, and no country can tackle this challenge alone. The Pilot Joint Research Initiative we’re announcing today will enable both countries to accelerate efforts to combat agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, and strengthen our research links.”
Joined by the Ambassador of New Zealand to Ireland, H.E. Brad Burgess, and Climate Change Ambassador for New Zealand Kay Harrison, Minister Heydon also announced the launch of the first Joint Research Call under the Mechanism. It will seek joint proposals between research organisations from Ireland and New Zealand to reduce and account for greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.
Minister Heydon remarked “Given our unique similarities in agricultural production systems, and considering the associated challenges this brings in terms of greenhouse gases, it is an exciting development that we are able to announce the first formal call under this new partnership. I am also pleased that we are delivering on an important commitment in Food Vision 2030 around increasing international research collaboration, and to enhance Ireland’s leadership on how greenhouse gas emissions from livestock farming are understood and addressed. I strongly encourage Irish researchers to apply to this Call.”
The Call will be funded directly by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine and New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries, and will be the first of its kind between both countries. Under three research topics, it will aim to investigate:
- the understanding of rumen microbiology for the development of ruminant greenhouse gas mitigation,
- technologies that will accelerate the selection of low-emitting ruminant livestock,
- the development of emission factors from agriculture to improve the accuracy of greenhouse gas emission inventories.
Notes for Editors
The launch of the new JRM is a result of the Ministerial Statement on Joint Cooperation in Agriculture between Ireland and New Zealand, made last October.
This recognised the already important technical and research partnerships that existed, but also identified that strengthening these is integral to achieving domestic and global ambitions on the measurement and reduction of biogenic methane emissions.
It also delivers on actions in the Food Vision 2030 Strategy under Mission 1 – A climate Smart, Environmentally Sustainable Agri-Food Sector
More information about the MoA and the 2022 Joint Research Call between Ireland and New Zealand is available at the following link: gov.ie - Research and Codex (www.gov.ie)
Memorandum of Arrangement (MoA)
- The signing of the MoA to establish the Ireland - New Zealand JRM is the result of Policy Dialogues that were held between DAFM and MPI in September 2021 on bilateral cooperation in a range of areas, including research; and the subsequent Ministerial Joint Statement on Agricultural Cooperation between Ireland and New Zealand that was issued in October 2021.
- The Statement committed to build on already strong technical and research partnerships, including on the measurement and reduction of biogenic methane emissions through international mechanisms, such as the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA). See here: gov.ie - Minister Charlie McConalogue and New Zealand counterpart Minister Damien O’Connor agree to enhanced co-operation (www.gov.ie)
- The MoA establishes the procedures and terms of reference of both DAFM and MPI under the pilot three-year period of the JRM and provides the framework for joint research calls under the Mechanism between both countries.
2022 Ireland - New Zealand Joint Research Call
- The first Call under the JRM will open on the 12th May 2022 at 12:00 (IST) and invites eligible Research Performing Organisations (RPOs) from Ireland to submit joint research proposals, with collaborating partners from New Zealand.
- There will be three research topics in the Call:
- o Topic 1: Rumen microbiology to support the development of ruminant GHG mitigation technologies
- o Topic 2: Identification and development of technologies for the selection of low emitting ruminant livestock
- o Topic 3: Refinement of agricultural GHG emissions inventories through the development of emission factors for Nitrous Oxide and Carbon
- More details, including information for online briefing sessions, can be found here: gov.ie - Research and Codex (www.gov.ie)
- The Irish financial support for the 2022 Ireland-New Zealand Joint Research Call is being provided through the DAFM Research Programme