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
Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München
Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
26.10.2016 | Awards Funding
26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering