New Zealand Embassy The Hague, The Netherlands

Ministers applaud success of Global Alliance meeting

International Climate Change Negotiations Minister Tim Groser and Agriculture Minister David Carter say the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research is now firmly underway.

This follows a three-day international meeting in Wellington aimed at shaping the future work programme of the Alliance of 29 nations.

New Zealand and the Netherlands are to co-ordinate efforts on the livestock research group - one of three groups set up to drive the Alliance. This will establish New Zealand, and particularly the domestic Centre for Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research, as a leader in this area.

Other countries leading research efforts include Japan on rice paddy management and the United States on research into crop management.

The meeting also agreed on a work plan for the next twelve months and a draft charter to be finalised at a ministerial summit to be held next year.

New Zealand will host the interim Secretariat for the Alliance.

Mr Groser says the Alliance has come a long way in a short amount of time.

"New Zealand went out to the world nine months ago with the idea of an alliance aimed at increasing international cooperation, collaboration and investment in both public and private agricultural greenhouse gas mitigation research.

"We're thrilled that 29 countries have joined us so far, with the latest being the Russian Federation. Most member countries were present for this inaugural meeting, with important agriculture producers China, Brazil and South Korea observing."
Mr Carter says the meeting was the first opportunity for these countries to agree on a practical programme of work.

"The purpose was to convert enthusiasm into action and to decide what governance and administrative arrangements would be needed to ensure the Alliance functions effectively.

"We have made a very good start and we now have a solid work programme ahead of us. The significant role New Zealand will play by hosting the interim Secretariat and co-leading livestock research is an acknowledgement of both the success of the meeting and New Zealand's leadership to date," says Mr Carter.

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