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Livestock-Climate Change CRSP Annual Meeting 2011: CARBON Project Update (J. Belnap)
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Livestock-Climate Change CRSP Annual Meeting 2011: CARBON Project Update (J. Belnap)


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An update on the Livestock-Climate Change CRSP CARBON Project (A cost-effectiveness framework for landscape rehabilitation and carbon sequestration in North Kenya) and the current status of the …

An update on the Livestock-Climate Change CRSP CARBON Project (A cost-effectiveness framework for landscape rehabilitation and carbon sequestration in North Kenya) and the current status of the project. Presentation given by J. Belnap (USGS) at the Livestock-Climate Change CRSP Annual Meeting, Golden, CO, April 26-27, 2011.

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  • 1. A Cost-Effectiveness Framework for Landscape Rehabilitation and Carbon Sequestration in Northern Kenya
    Corinna Riginos, Jayne Belnap, Jeff Herrick, David W. Kimiti, Jesse Njoka, Wilfred O. Odadi,, Dan Rubenstein, Truman Young
  • 2. C Sequestration & Rangelands
    C sequestration through improved management of world’s rangelands has significant potential to mitigate climate change (IPCC 2007)
    But most of Africa’s C sequestration potential is in areas that have been overgrazed
    Many areas already moderately to severely degraded
  • 3. Improve rangeland management
    Rehabilitate degraded
    areas in socially-realistic ways
    Prevent further degradation in socially-realistic ways
    Increase C sequestration
    C loss
    Improve land productivity and resilience
    Improve livelihoods
  • 4. Given limited resources, we need to know:
    Where are efforts (to rehabilitate degraded areas and to prevent further degradation) most likely to be effective, societally acceptable, cost-effective?
    Project Objective
    To develop and test a framework that informs managers how to prioritize efforts that maintains or increases quality of life (via increased forage), C storage
  • 5. Four Questions to Address Objectives
    What is the potential of a site - how can it function and what is maximum forage, C storage under good management?
    How degraded is it relative to its potential?
    Corrective actions: What will it take to stop further degradation? To rehabilitate to a less degraded state? What will it cost? Will people support it?
    Benefits: How much can we increase forage, C storage and other services?
  • 6. = preventing
    Costs and Benefits of Transitions
    = restoring
    State 1
    Carbon storage or other ecosystem function
    State 2
    State 3
    State 4
    Increasing degradation
    Where is the point that cost exceeds benefit?
  • 7. Laikipia-Samburu Ecosystem
  • 8. A Patchwork of Land Tenure and Use
  • 9. What is the Potential of Different Sites?
    First, define key “ecological sites” -- similar capacity to produce forage, similar biotic community, resilience
    Requires combination of scientific and local knowledge
  • 10. Q1. Two Broad Soil Groups
  • 11. Q1: Progress
    Overlaid soil, vegetation, satellite imagery, and topographic maps to identify potential ecological sites
    On-site soil pits and vegetation surveys resulted in preliminary ecological sites for black cotton soils
    Red soils very complex
  • 12. Q1: Next Steps
    Refine ecological sites on black cotton soils through further systematic sampling
    Define ecological sites on red soils. Will require much more effort, but they are the sites needing the most attention
  • 13. 2. How Degraded is a Site Relative to its Potential?
    Identify possible degradation states and transitions among states (S&T models)
    Will pilot in black cotton
    Measure C storage in different states within different ecological sites in black cotton
    Red soil: start at patch scale within small sites until ecological site determined
  • 14. Q2. Preliminary Patch Results
  • 15. 3. Corrective Actions: What Will it Take to Rehabilitate Sites?
    Long-term goal: Cost-effectiveness of restoration for key ecological sites -- what does it take to move to a less degraded state?
    Short-term approach: Best methods (cost, spacing, labor, etc.) to increase plant cover, C storage at patch scale within a state/ecological site. We are starting with grass.
  • 16. Q3. Erosion Barrier Experiment
    Silt fence
    Branch bundles
    Labor & materials,
    more effective
    Cheap, ineffective
    Laborious, ineffective
  • 17. Q3. Using Bomas for Restoration
  • 18. 4. Costs & Benefits
    Costs: Money and labor costs for different management, restoration techniques
    Benefits: Success of different techniques in sites with different potential and/or degrees of degradation in terms of:
    C storage (soil C)
    Soil fertility (soil C, N, P)
    Water retention, reduced erosion (plant gaps, infiltration)
    Forage for animals (grass cover / biomass)
  • 19. Outreach Activities
    Training & capacity building for local technicians
    Student group from U. of Nairobi (April)
    Interns from U. of Nairobi (July-Aug)
    Sharing findings with local organizations
    Training managers and NGO staff in monitoring & site potential concept in relation to management
    Possible future workshop for managers, CBOs
  • 20. Leveraged Efforts for Better Management & Monitoring
    Predictive framework to advise future management decisions
    Complements efforts to promote long-term monitoring of land health
    Goal: Empower local people to improve their management & livelihoods
    Web link to boma and rangeland health guides:
  • 21. Summary: Next Steps
    Refine ecological sites for black cotton and red soils
    Develop state and transition models
    Test restoration techniques
    Measure long-term plant recovery, C storage at older restoration trials, boma sites in region to see what restores plants, soil C
    Work with communities to understand which restoration techniques are useful / usable
    Continue outreach efforts
  • 22. Challenges & Lessons
    Landscape more complex than expected -- especially red soil
    Red soil more degraded than expected
    Wildlife, especially elephants, deconstruct that which we construct!!
    Site potential concept intuitive to local managers, but applying it requires long-term capacity building
    Gender inclusion – difficulty in finding
    interested and qualified women
  • 23. Emerging/Future Scientific Issues for This Project
    Where will the ecological sites we develop apply across the region? Will others be needed?
    Need better mechanisms to tap local knowledge about site history & potential
    How will costs/benefits of interventions vary from year to year because of rainfall differences?
    Need to measure benefits in terms of resilience (climate change adaptation)
    Incorporate woody plants???
    What techniques will people actually use?
  • 24. Other Regional Issues
    Conversion of rangeland to cropland
    Human dimensions:
    How do governance / social factors interact with ecological factors in rangelands?
    What incentives are needed for better management and restoration of rangelands?
    Viability of carbon credit system in rangelands
    Socio-political structures (needs monitors) and changes (grazing, plant type, etc.) needed
    Economic analyses needed
  • 25. Questions?