Climate Smart Agriculture and Soil-Carbon Sequestration


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Part of the Swedish seminar "Från kolkälla till kolfälla: Om framtidens klimatsmarta jordbruk"

8th May 2012, 13.00 - 16.30

Kulturhuset, Stockholm

Marja-Liisa Tapio-Biström, FAO, gives a global overview of carbon in soil.

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  • 1: adoption of better management practices and more efficient management of C and N, also technical changes in production systems. And reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation 2: improving energy efficiency
  • Methane: aerobic rice cultivation change in livestock diet (grazing) Nitrous oxides: change in N-fertilizer management change in irrigation practice no-tillage farming: 60% reduction in fuel 20% reduction in fertilizer/pesticides 50% reduction in machinery C-sequestration 0.05-0.2 t.ha-1.y-1 no burning, no CO2 release Save energy Use renewable energies Recycling e.g. bioenergy for heat, fuel and power Food security first! – The right to food
  • Poor agricultural practices typically have resulted in losses of up to 50% or more of the carbon originally present in the soil under native vegetation. These next tree slides illustrate the same point as the previous slide, but using arrows to represent the fluxes into and out of the system. Poor practices lead to an imbalance in C inputs/outputs (indicated by the large CO2-out arrow compared with the small CO2-in arrow) that leads to declines in soil C stocks. The pictures indicate the kinds of practices that can lead to this situation.
  • Sustainable land management practices shift the balance of C inputs and outputs to rebuild soil C stocks. Some practices enhance CO2 uptake (via photosynthesis) leading to a net increase in system (soil) C stocks.
  • Some other sustainable land management practices lead to a net increase in system (soil) C stocks. The net result is the same: a build-up of soil C stocks.
  • I often like to start with the end in mind – by explaining the take-home lessons so that the audience can be prepared for them. I think in this case there are logical links between the points to be made here.
  • Climate Smart Agriculture and Soil-Carbon Sequestration

    1. 1. Climate–smart Agriculture and soil- carbon sequestration Marja-Liisa Tapio-Biström, FAO May 2012
    2. 2. Contents• Challenges• Climate smart agriculture• Mitigation thorough land management• Conclusions• FAO and climate change
    3. 3. Two Goals of Our Time1. Achieving Food Security – 1 billion hungry – Food production to increase 70% by 2050 – Adaptation to Climate Change critical1. Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change – ”2 degree goal” requires major emission cuts – Agriculture and Land use = 30% of emissions.. – ..and needs to be part of the solution
    4. 4. Climate Change & Agriculture GHG emissions Sources of GHG emissions by sector (IPCC 2007)
    5. 5. A Sustainable Development landscape +Human rights, UNFCCC CBD WSFS Health, Trade, GLOBAL “Carbon” “Species” “Calories” Education, ..... OBJECTIVESNational ->InternationalNational ->Local Climate Biodiversity Food Security LOCAL Climate–smart Agriculture REALITIES
    6. 6. Climate-Smart AgricultureAgriculture that sustainably:• increases productivity and income• increases resilience of livelihoods and ecosystems (adaptation)• reduces/removes GHG emissionsAND• enhances achievement of national food security and development goals• ⇒ADRESSES MULTIPLE OBJECTIVES!
    7. 7. Indicative relevanceParameter Increased Resilience / Mitigaton productivity AdaptationIncome from products and services  Carbon stock in the landscape   Energy use / GHG emissions  
    8. 8. Agricultural sources and sinks of greenhouse gases IPCC 2007
    9. 9. Climate Change & Agriculture MitigationMitigation options in the land use sector Mitigation potentials: Forestry 5.4 Gt CO2/yr Agriculture: 5.5-6 Gt CO2e/yr 86 % in developing countries (2) Avoiding or (3) Removing (1) Reducing displacing emissions and emissions emissions creating sinks
    10. 10. Mitigation options• Restoration of cultivated organic soils/peatlands• Cropland management• Rangeland management• Restoration of degraded lands • Agro-forestry • Avoided deforestation - sustainable intensification on existing agricultural lands • Increase/maintain landscape- scale C stocks - add trees
    11. 11. Peatlands and organic soils• 3% of the land area 30 % soil carbon• 25 % of CO2 emissions from land areas from drained pealtands (0.3% of land area)• Secure undrained peatlands to prevent emissions• Rewet drained peatlands to reduce emissions• Adapt management of peatlands that cannot be rewetted
    12. 12. Land management and mitigation -C loss due to poor agricultural practices DeforestationIntensive tillage; erosion CO2 Woody encroachment Soil organic matter Overgrazing
    13. 13. Land management and mitigation -Adding C to the system Cover crops Silvo-pastoral systems CO2Sowing legumes/improved species Soil organic Improved rotations matter
    14. 14. Land management and mitigation -Avoid emissions in land management Reduce forage off-take Arrest erosion CO2 Leave crop residues Soil organic No-tillage matter
    15. 15. Overview/conclusions• Land management contributes massively to global greenhouse gas emissions• Change in land management can reduce emissions and can sequester C in soils• Nobody farms to mitigate climate change• Sustainable land management is a win-win response to climate change and food security challenges• Land tenure and governance situations are severely limiting the possibilities
    16. 16. FAO and Climate Change challenges• Integrated across Programme of Work• Involves all Departments and Offices• Some key programmes Climate-smart Agriculture