Evidence from benchmark sites across the tropics is proving that an integrated, multifunctional approach that allows for land-use sharing in agriculture, forests and other functions can achieve good results in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and raising food production levels. It provides more realistic solutions than the popular view on sparing land for forests through agricultural intensification.
Agricultural intensification, also known as the Borlaug hypothesis, means increasing yields per unit area of land regardless of the emissions caused, expecting that higher yields at constant demand will spare forest land for conservation.
“While this theory might work in certain local conditions, it may not be sufficient because globally, only 22% of increased food production is due to expansion of harvested areas,” said Peter Minang, the Global Coordinator of the Alternatives to Slash and Burn (ASB) programme. “Relying on the sparing theory without active forest protection may even cause further deforestation. In an open economy, demand is not constant and farmers will clear more land to meet increased demand for food products and to make a greater profit.”
A recent policy brief published by ASB-ICRAF shows that commodities meant for export contribute to land use change responsible for emissions from deforestation, forest degradation and agriculture.
Speaking at a side event during the 34th session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) in Bonn, Germany on 8 June 2011, Minang said “We will be urging negotiators and decision makers to look at a wider policy package, one that provides incentives for multifunctional land use.”
The Bonn meeting will further discussions on decisions made last December at the climate change conference in Cancún, including policy approaches and positive incentives on issues relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation; and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+).
“A key challenge with REDD+ is the lack of clarity about what exactly a forest is,” said Meine van Noordwijk, Chief Scientist with the World Agroforestry Centre. “In countries such as Indonesia, deforestation rates vary depending on how a forest is defined, and this creates inconsistencies that could make it difficult to determine baseline levels against which to track progress in emission reduction.”
There is growing evidence that agroforestry, which is the use of trees on farms, enriches the soil to provide the necessary conditions for high quality food production and the trees act as carbon stocks, thus helping towards mitigating climate change.
“Promoting trees in the landscape within REDD+ is important because this will not only accrue environmental and livelihood benefits but will also focus attention on the drivers of deforestation that are outside the forest and account for higher carbon emissions,” added van Noordwijk. “Our research in Indonesia shows that the highest risk for loss of woody vegetation and associated carbon emissions is posed by areas that are actually outside of areas defined as forests”.
Sharing the use of land under forestry and agriculture will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase food production much more effectively than trying to spare from use by increasing agricultural intensification.
Contact: Paul Stapleton (Bonn, Germany ) +254 717718387; firstname.lastname@example.org;
Contact Elizabeth Kahurani (Nairobi, Kenya) +254 721 537 627; email@example.com
The World Agroforestry Centre, based in Nairobi, Kenya is the world’s leading research institution on the diverse role trees play in agricultural landscapes and rural livelihoods. As part of its work to bring tree-based solutions to bear on poverty and environmental problems, centre researchers—working in close collaboration with national partners—have developed new technologies, tools and policy recommendations for increased food security and ecosystem health. www.agroforestry.org
Founded in 1994, the Alternatives to Slash and Burn (ASB) Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins brings together local knowledge, policy perspectives and science to understand the tradeoffs associated with different land uses and the roles of markets, regulation, property rights and rewards. While ASB is coordinated by the World Agroforestry Centre, it is a global partnership of international and national-level research institutes, non-governmental organizations, universities, community organizations, farmers' groups, and other local, national, and international organizations. www.asb.cgiar.org
Paul Stapleton | EurekAlert!
Further reports about: > ASB > Agricultural intensification > Agroforestry > Burn injuries > Climate change > Nairobi > REDD+ > carbon emission > carbon emissions > environmental problem > food production > forest degradation > forest protection > gas emission > greenhouse gas > greenhouse gas emission > land use > multifunctional land use
New study shows producers where and how to grow cellulosic biofuel crops
17.01.2018 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Robotic weeders: to a farm near you?
10.01.2018 | American Society of Agronomy
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine
19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy