Global Research Alliance (GRA)

Climate change and the increasing need to feed a growing global population are the greatest challenges facing agriculture. They also provide good opportunities for New Zealand's agriculture-based economy.

The GRA at a glance

The Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA) was formed in 2009 to find ways to grow more food without growing greenhouse gas emissions.

The GRA promotes international cooperation and investment in research to mitigate the effect of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. The GRA continues to grow and its membership includes more than 60 countries from all regions of the world. This includes many of the world's major agricultural producers. The GRA also partners with international and regional organisations that pass knowledge on to policy makers, the science community, and farming leaders.

GRA member countries, shown in dark blue.

MPI supports GRA goals

The GRA aims to:

  • reduce the emissions intensity of agricultural production systems
  • find more opportunities to increase the potential for soil carbon storage (sequestration).

The GRA gives New Zealand scientists the opportunity to work with world-renowned institutes and researchers. It also helps them to share knowledge and expertise with the global science community.

MPI strongly supports and promotes the priorities and goals of the GRA. We contribute to collaborative research projects and scientific capability-building activities.

New Zealand:

  • is a founding member of the GRA
  • hosts the GRA Secretariat, including the special representative
  • co-chairs the Livestock Research Group of the GRA
  • participates in the Croplands and Integrative Research Groups of the GRA

The New Zealand page of the GRA website includes a complete list of our activities.

New Zealand – GRA

Find out more

The Livestock Research Group

GRA website

New Zealand-funded GRA activities

Global Partnerships in Livestock Emissions Research

To support the objectives of the GRA, MPI manages the New Zealand Fund for Global Partnerships in Livestock Emissions Research (GPLER). This aims to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from pastoral livestock farming through international research collaboration.

European Commission's FACCE-JPI Joint Research Call on Novel Technologies, Solutions and Systems to Reduce Agricultural Greenhouse Gases in Animal Production Systems

To support the objectives of the GRA, AgResearch scientists are involved in 2 research projects in the international programme.

"Grass to Gas" aims to learn about and find ways to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from pasture based sheep systems. The participating countries alongside New Zealand include France, Ireland, Norway, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay.

Grass to Gas

"MELS" aims to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from livestock systems. The participating countries alongside New Zealand include Chile, Denmark, France, Ireland, Germany, Greece, and Poland.

MELS

Latin America Regional Fund for Agricultural Technology

MPI supports the objectives of the GRA through regional research and capability projects. Since 2011, New Zealand has supported livestock projects in partnership with the Latin America Regional Fund for Agricultural Technology (FONTAGRO). The participating Latin American countries include Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Regional platform for the sustainable intensification of livestock

Competitive livestock systems in the context of climate change

Livestock greenhouse gases reduction in the Andean region

Livestock and Climate Change: Applied research and knowledge

Fellowships and awards

As well as supporting research collaborations, New Zealand supports technical training awards, co-funded PhD scholarships, postdoctoral fellowships, and senior scientist awards.

New Zealand Global Research Alliance Doctoral Scholarship

The New Zealand Global Research Alliance Doctoral Scholarship (NZ-GRADS) is offered to science students from developing countries who want to complete their PhD at a New Zealand university. Research topics must be related to greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural systems, primarily livestock. Innovative and novel aspects of this will be considered, especially in relation to new technologies or new applications of existing technologies.

The Livestock Emissions Abatement Research Network

The Livestock Emissions Abatement Research Network (LEARN) awards scheme is sponsored by the New Zealand government to build international capability in livestock emissions research for scientists from developing countries.

The Global Research Alliance Senior Scientist Award

The Global Research Alliance Senior Scientist (GRASS) award helps fund exchanges between scientists from New Zealand and other GRA member countries. This award is to enable collaboration on research into reducing emissions from livestock production. It aims to create enduring relationships between New Zealand and other countries, helping advance novel techniques and approaches for mitigating livestock greenhouse gas emissions.

The Climate, Food and Farming, Global Research Alliance Development Scholarships Programme

The Climate, Food and Farming, Global Research Alliance Development Scholarships Programme (CLIFF-GRADS) provides short-term grants for PhD students from developing countries to undertake scientific training and research on:

  • the measurement and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions in agricultural systems
  • carbon storage in agricultural systems
  • quantification and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from food loss and waste.

Graduate Research Grants in Africa

New Zealand is supporting Global Research Alliance Graduate Research Grants (GRA-GRG) through African universities which are members of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM). These grants are aimed at teaching graduate and post-graduate students in Africa to conduct applied research on agricultural greenhouse gases.

World Farmers' Organisation study tour

WFO farmers and board members in New Zealand for the 2019 study tour
WFO farmers and board members in New Zealand for the 2019 study tour.

New Zealand supports an annual study tour as part of the partnership between the GRA and the World Farmers' Organisation (WFO). The GRA-WFO study tour supports farmer-to-farmer discussion on areas of interest and practice that can be applied both locally and internationally.

The GRA-WFO study tour aims to:

  • increase understanding of agricultural greenhouse gas research
  • increase engagement in environmental management practices
  • support sustainable productivity
  • build a network of farmers and farmer representatives that support these aims.

The 2019 study tour was hosted by New Zealand. This was the third time New Zealand has hosted the GRA-WFO study tour. Previous study tours have been hosted by Argentina and Italy.

Board members and invited farmer representatives from WFO member organisations participated in the study tour. Farmer representatives were invited to meet with New Zealand farmers, industry representatives, scientists, and previous study tour participants.

Who to contact

If you have questions about the Global Research Alliance and New Zealand's involvement, email info@mpi.govt.nz

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