chapter  4
20 Pages

Potential carbon mitigation and income in developing countries from changes in use and management of agricultural and forest lands

ByJohn O. Niles, Sandra Brown, Jules N. Pretty, Andrew S. Ball, John P. Fay

The recent Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirmed earlier findings that emissions avoidance and carbon sequestration by changes in the use and management of forests can make a meaningful, if limited, contribution to reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) (Brown et al . 1996; Kauppi & Sedjo 2001). However, forestry and land-use issues remain some of the more controversial components of the evolving global climate-change response (Niles 2002). Underlying this debate is an urgent need to estimate how reforesting degraded lands, avoiding deforestation and adopting sustainable agriculture practices in developing countries could realistically contribute to climate-change mitigation. Developing countries have no specific emission-reduction targets under current climate-change deliberations. Nevertheless, there are many opportunities for mitigating atmospheric carbon in sustainable land management. Detailed nation-by-nation global estimates of land-based mitigation in developing countries have been bypassed in recent scientific literature (Nakicenovic et al . 2000; Watson et al . 2000).