The Dick Vet and COP26
The COP26 climate summit is taking place in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November. The summit brings together leaders from around the world, who will be discussing ways in which the countries participating can cut emissions by 2030, in line with the Paris Agreement.
At the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, we are making the most of this opportunity to discuss our work around climate change and contribute to the world-changing conversations that are taking place.
Here are some highlights from across our campus:
Net Zero statement
The Roslin Institute’s work supports the aims of COP26 by enabling sustainable livestock production and improved animal health and welfare, while reducing the climate impact of farming in the UK and internationally.
Roslin scientists’ world-leading research and knowledge translation is developing scientific, technical, and systematic solutions that will help achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals including zero hunger, while also helping decrease carbon emissions from farmed animal production.
Map highlighting key role livestock play in climate adaptation
A new interactive online map sheds light on the important role that livestock play in building climate resilience for rural communities in low-and middle -income countries. The map features 20 case studies crowdsourced from organisations around the world, and was compiled by organisations including the Centre for Supporting Evidence-Based Interventions in Livestock (SEBI-Livestock), the Centre for Tropical Livestock Health and Genetics (CTLGH) and the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security, based at the Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.
‘UK-Africa Partnerships for Climate Action’ event
This event, which is being organised by the University of Edinburgh Climate Change Institute, will explore visions for achieving green recovery, and how to deliver on the goals of COP26 in the UK and COP27 in Africa through the development of green industries and the provision of green skills and jobs. This will be a hybrid event, with a face-to-face meeting in Edinburgh on 6 November and open registration for virtual attendance through zoom.
‘More Milk Zuri?!’ schools resource and game
A team from the Centre for Tropical Livestock Health and Genetics (CTLGH), the Roslin Institute and the Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre (EBSOC) have developed a free online classroom resource and game. ‘More Milk Zuri?!’ has been designed for children aged 8-14 and will complement the comic of the same name that CTLGH launched in 2020. The resource highlights how genetics can help improve the health, welfare and productivity of livestock and how this is particularly important in low- and middle- income countries and can be found on the EBSOC website.
Blog: It is time for definitive action to limit greenhouse gas emissions relating to our diets
We have come a long way in our understanding of how our diets contribute to global emissions and of the significant role of meat and livestock in particular. But knowing and doing are different things. Despite the growth of an alternative meat niche market, we have yet to move the dial significantly on agriculture and food emissions. The heat is being turned up on everyone, while agriculture and food are still going under the regulatory radar.
Jameel Observatory launch
Our partnership with the Jameel Observatory, launching at COP26, combines community knowledge, data science and humanitarian action to tackle climate-related food security and malnutrition challenges in dryland areas.
Visit the website: https://jameelobservatory.org/
Global Academy event highlights moves to transform Indian farms to organic
Learnings from a large-scale organic farming programme have been discussed at an event at COP26.
Speakers shared their experience of their sustainable agriculture operation, implemented by the government of Andhra Pradesh in India, which aims to transform 6 million farms on 8 million hectares of land in the southern state into natural farming by 2030.
The project is the world’s largest agroecology programme – that is, sustainable farming that works with nature. Agroecology has been welcomed by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization as helpful to governments in making progress on achieving global targets for climate change, biodiversity, nutrition, and post-Covid economic development.
Student joins international pre-COP youth event
An undergraduate student has joined a United Nations event for young people ahead of the COP26 climate change summit.
Xandru Cassar, a third-year BSc in Agricultural Economics student, represented his home nation of Malta at the Youth4Climate Summit in Milan.
Mr Cassar was one of 400 young delegates representing nations around the world at the pre-COP26 gathering, at which young people were tasked with developing and presenting their proposals for tackling climate change.
Expert joins sustainable livestock event at COP26
A scientist whose work on sustainable livestock production has influenced government policy in Brazil is to join a high-profile event at COP26.
Dr Rafael Silva, a Chancellor’s Fellow in the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security, will take part in a Sustainable Livestock panel in Brazil’s Pavilion at the Glasgow event on Monday 8 November.
In this panel, government representatives and farmers will discuss promotion and adoption of low carbon emission technologies.
Dr Silva’s expertise is in applied mathematics, working with models of agriculture, food security and biodiversity conservation, to better understand the relationships between energy, livestock and deforestation.
Roslin researchers at COP26 Green Zone
Researchers from the Roslin Institute are attending the COP26 Green Zone on Sunday 7 November to talk to members of the public about their work on oysters. Postdoc Tim Regan and PhD student Hannah Farley will be on the UKRI stand discussing the challenges faced by oysters and other shellfish from disease and invasive species, and how their group is working with farmers and conservationists to develop a rapid PCR test to detect these problems early.
Local schools get hands-on with science for COP26
The Roslin Institute’s Public Engagement team at the Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre (EBSOC) are excited to be celebrating COP26 with a climate change-themed science investigation project for 36 primary schools from across the Edinburgh City Region (Edinburgh, Lothians, Borders and Fife).
Supported by grant funding from the University of Edinburgh, pupils in schools taking part in COP26 Project Science will carry out the Big Balloon Blow-Up, a hands-on science investigation linked to microorganisms and climate change. Participating schools will receive a free equipment box, classroom resources and access to an online teacher training session, as well as an invitation to an online celebration event in early December.
The project will reach 3,318 pupils and 131 teachers across the region, who will carry out their investigations during November alongside COP26, sharing their results with us via email and Twitter before the December celebration event. To extend the project’s reach even further, teachers from all 66 schools that applied were invited to the online training session and given access to digital versions of the activity materials, meaning the project has the potential to reach over 200 teachers and more than 5,000 pupils!
About the Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies
The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies is a one-of-a-kind centre of excellence in clinical activity, teaching and research. Our purpose-built campus, set against the backdrop of the beautiful Pentland Hills Regional Park, is home to more than eight hundred staff and almost fourteen hundred students, all of whom contribute to our exceptional community ethos.
The School comprises:
- The Roslin Institute
- The Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security
- The Roslin Innovation Centre
- The Hospital for Small Animals
- Equine Veterinary Services
- Farm Animal Services
- Easter Bush Pathology
- The Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education
We represent the largest concentration of animal science related expertise in Europe, impacting local, regional, national and international communities in terms of economic growth, the provision of clinical services and the advancement of scientific knowledge.