Interview Tri Satya Naipospos, DVM, M.Phil, Ph.D.
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Livestock Industry Contributes to Global Warming
Global warming, climate change, and the greenhouse effect are words we often hear in the last couple of years. We are all experiencing those conditions now. Lately livestock industry was also said to contribute to the elation of global warming, climate change, and greenhouse effect. Is it true? To reveal the facts, Hutami Pudya from Jurnal Bogor had interviewed Tri Satya Putri Naipospos, DVM, M.Phil, Ph.D, from Center for Indonesian Veterinary Analytical Studies (CIVAS) whom currently works for FAO of The United Nations.
Could climate change contribute to the emergence of various animal diseases?
In its 77th General Session the World Animal Health Organization (OIE) stated that due to globalization and climate change, the world continues to face emerging and re-emerging animal diseases. Current disease outbreaks in domestic and wild animals, such as Blue Tongue, Rift Valley, West Nile, Avian Influenza and other vector-borne diseases are believed to be directly and indirectly influenced by climate change.
Is Indonesia vulnerable to climate change?
Indonesia as a tropical archipelago is most vulnerable to climate change. Even though there is not much comprehensive data on the effects of climate change on animal diseases in Indonesia, it is still a global issue that could not be put aside.
Is it true that Indonesia still has infectious animal disease and zoonoses problems?
Geographically, our country has many habitats, from lowlands, forests, grasslands and hills, and vast open sea. Such habitat diversity provides us with rich plant and animal species. Indonesia has 10 percent of flower species, 12 percent of mammal species, 16 of reptile and amphibian species, 17 percent of bird species, and 25 percent of saltwater and freshwater fish species in the world. Indonesia also has the most number of endangered species in the world. But the fact is Indonesia has many issues related to infectious animal diseases and zoonoses such as Avian Influenza, Brucellosis, Rabies, Anthrax, vector-borne diseases (such as Trypanosomiasis, Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis), and other parasitic diseases (such as Fasciolosis, Haemochiasis, Cysticercosis).
Is it true that the livestock industry contributes to global environmental changes?
A document published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2006 titled Livestock’s Long Shadow emphasizes the role of the livestock industry in causing global environmental changes. The report describes in quite detail the correlation between climate change and the livestock industry even though it did not focus on the effects of climate change on animal disease.
How much greenhouse gas is produced by the livestock industry if compared to other sources?
According to the FAO document, the livestock industry is the largest producer of greenhouse gases, contributing up to 18 percent, compared to the combined greenhouse gas emission produced from transportation around the world which is only 13 percent. As we all know, several greenhouse gases are directly responsible for global warming the world is currently facing. The livestock industry has contributed 9 percent of carbon dioxide, 37 percent of methane, 65 percent of dinitrogen oxide, and 64 percent of ammonia. The livestock industry is also considered to be the main source of soil damage and water pollution.
How important is it for Indonesia to conduct research on the effect of the livestock industry to the environment and ecosystem when the livestock industry in Indonesia has yet to be developed?
Even though the livestock industry in Indonesia has not developed as in advanced countries, but the concern to study the effect of livestock industries on the environment and ecosystem is already strong. Experts in Indonesia need to determine the amount of gas produced by each of the livestock production process, such as feed production, animal digestion, and the processing and transportation of animal products to consumers.
How do we identify the association between climate and disease?
The association between climate and disease is relatively easy to identify. The transmission dynamics and geographical distribution of most insect-borne and rodent-borne diseases are very sensitive to climate. Most vector borne diseases need arthropods such as mosquitoes, flies, ticks or lice. Part of the pathogen’s life cycle is in the arthropods and these animals are easily affected by the environment. The weather and climate could influence vector-borne diseases through changes in temperature, rain fall, wind, flood or drought, and rise in sea level.
What are the consequences of climate change?
The consequences of climate change, either in the form of global warming or other forms of climate change, depends on how the environment responds to increase or decrease of temperature, humidity, rain fall, snow fall, and other factors. Since such changes also affect the biologic system, there will always be implications on disease transmission.
What should be done in the future?
Overall, we need to improve our understanding on the complexity of the system. We also need to improve our mind set and create long term plans on how to manage the consequences of climate change on animal disease in developing countries such as Indonesia. This need implies that future approaches must be fully addressed by policy makers in the animal health sector. This will help the Indonesia government in establishing policies designed to anticipate, prevent, and control new emerging and re-emerging diseases.
Source : Jurnal Bogor (http://www.jurnalbogor.com/?p=76843)