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; email@example.com;
Contact Elizabeth Kahurani (Nairobi, Kenya) +254 721 537 627; firstname.lastname@example.org
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 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers
26.06.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Fighting a destructive crop disease with mathematics
21.06.2017 | University of Cambridge
Computer scientists use wave packet theory to develop realistic, detailed water wave simulations in real time. Their results will be presented at this year’s SIGGRAPH conference.
Think about the last time you were at a lake, river, or the ocean. Remember the ripples of the water, the waves crashing against the rocks, the wake following...
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
29.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
29.06.2017 | Life Sciences
29.06.2017 | Health and Medicine