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Henri RUEF "Sustainable land management and carbon finance: a case study on landless mobile pastoralists in the Hindu Kush Himalaya mountains of northern Pakistan"
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Henri RUEF "Sustainable land management and carbon finance: a case study on landless mobile pastoralists in the Hindu Kush Himalaya mountains of northern Pakistan"


UNCCD 2nd Scientific Conference

UNCCD 2nd Scientific Conference

Published in Technology
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  • 1. Sustainable land management and carbon finance: a case study on landless mobile pastoralists in the Hindu Kush Himalaya mountains of northern Pakistan Henri Rueff, Inam ur Rahim, Sayed Aziz Rehman, Daniel Maselli, Khurshid Muhammad, Nafees Muhammad
  • 2. Carbon in a pro-poor and pastoralism context> Rangelands are being only recently scrutinized for carbon schemes> 30% of the world’s land cover is rangeland> Pastoralists are often composing the poorest segment society> Perception towards pastoralists: contributors or degraders? Valuing ES!> Carbon market dysfunctions: CDM failed to deliver SD> Alternative: social carbon credits towards SD and poverty reduction, community based carbon projects (CCSB/Plan Vivo)> Advantages of a carbon scheme for herders: trading a commodity without a hub> Land richer in carbon enhances adaptation
  • 3. Research question> Poor current market conditions with low carbon prices: > what schemes could work?> Conventional mitigation schemes in rangelands are based on pasture improvement and stock reduction: > How does avoided emissions renouncing cropping compares to these conventional rangeland mitigation schemes? > How can carbon finance enhance SLM? Looking at an overstocking case Livelihood Baseline scenario (overstocking) Minimum carbon payment Mitigation scenario (carrying capacity) Time
  • 4. Context in the Naran valley (PakistanHimalayas)> Under the guidance of developement agencies in the 80s, herders have been planting off-season potatoes and peas at high altitude, which rewards 10 times the usual herding activity, nevertheless....> Steep slopes without terracing leading to soil loss> Rapid decline in yields> Land becomes unsuitable for cropping nor grazing after a short period> Herders are pushed to pastures at higher elevations fostering degradation because of a shorter growing season> Changes in the division of labour. The fittest crop, the weaker (elders) herd in hostile environments
  • 5. MethodologyHypotheses(i) cropping on alpine pastures reduces former carbon storage(ii) the avoided emission from renouncing cropping is a superior mitigation choice than improved pasturesTo solve (i)72 soil core samples discriminating in triplicates for> 2 land uses (cropping, pasture)> 3 aspects (North, South)> 3 elevations (low 3000, middle 3100, and high 3200 m a.s.l.)> 2 soil depths (shallow 0-10, deep 10-30 cm)Soil samples were air-dried, sifted36 above and below-ground (coarse roots) biomass samples oven-driedPotassium dichromate oxidation treatmentTo solve (ii) we compare data with existing literature and integrate an ex-ante model (FAO) (in progress)
  • 6. Case study: pastoral system in the Himalaya ofPakistan
  • 7. Results soil 18 400 18 21Soil organic carbon 15 350 15 18 300 15 12 12 [g kg-1] 250 12 9 9 200 9 6 150 6 6 3 3 100 3 50 0 0 0 Pasture Cropland South North Low Mid High 0-10 cm 10-30 cm
  • 8. Results biomass 400 Biomass carbon 350 300 [g m-2] 250 200 150 100 50 Pasture Cropland> Avoided emissions are likely to yield higher payments than conventional grassland improvement (under investigation) Preventing the conversion of pastures into cropping fields avoids an average loss of 12.2 t C ha-1 or 44.8 t CO2e ha-1.> Enteric methane release from livestock in the pasture scenario is largely nullified by increasing greenhouse gas releases due to fertilizer inputs needed in the cropping scenario. (likely, under investigation)
  • 9. Discussion – issues to consider> Solve non-market leakage issuesMitigate here but transfer emissions elsewhere!Solution: contractual, monitoring> Solve market leakage issuesConsequences of the lack of supply of off-season crops to the marketSolution: integrate in the mitigation scenario,use buffer credits, monitoring, terracing
  • 10. Discussion – issues to consider> Predict baselineSelling a commodity reflecting the avoidance ofwhat you think will occurSolution: use proxies, understand projectboundaries> Transaction costsMain cause of dysfunctionsSolution: create larger project units, sell highquality carbon credits at a higher price (povertyalleviation, SLM)
  • 11. Conclusion> Carbon payment is attractive but does it work?> Complex accounting, unawareness amongpractitioners and pastoralists> More important than carbon – valuing overallecosystem services provided by pastoralists andbuild societal awareness (food security, biodiversityLandscaping, cultural heritage etc…)
  • 12. Thank you