Dryland Pastoral Systems and Climate Change: Implications and Opportunities for Mitigation and Adaptation.
Grasslands are land cover with herbaceous plants with less than 10 percent tree and shrub cover. “Grasslands” is used in a wider sense of rangelands, grazing land, agro-silvo-pastoral systems, and cultivated pastures. Grasslands are an important land use system and have considerable technical potential.
Livestock related livelihoods is easily a billion persons
Now let ’s look through a different set of windows. These are the ecosystem functions. It is all one house but the ecosystem functions are solar energy flow (photosynthesis), mineral or nutrient cycling, biological community dynamics and the water cycle. A clear understanding of these functions and how they work together will be critical to evaluating ways forward for adaptation and mitigation of climate change as well as moving in a direction of carbon finance or payment for environmental services.
And, we need to also think about adaptation - a 1 percent increase in organic matter in these grasslands can sequester over 100 Picograms C. This same 1% increase increases the water holding capacity by as much as 144,000 liters per hectare (dwarfing that in the world ’s dams). I draw your attention to the right frame. The importance of a good ground cover, as noted earlier (as shown on the right) can vastly improve water infiltration – reducing losses due to run off and evaporation. When we manage soil for a cover, deep root systems, we are getting water back into the soil and into the bore holes and streams where we can use it. A key indicator of an ineffective cycle is bare ground. When we leave soil bare we are creating a drought condition since the water that does fall runs off or evaporates. The numbers vary but bare soil can mean losing as much as 80% of the rainfall that does fall. What it takes to get this soils functioning – organic matter and soil cover are the same that we need for building soil carbon.
Good grassland management practices are those that also improve soil carbon sequestration. Carbon sequestration is inhibited by loss of groundcover, bare fallows, burning and continuous grazing (not allowing the land to recover). Biomass burning from the savannas contribute 42% of gross carbon dioxide to global emissions (Levine et al. 1999, Andreae 1991). By just using the tools of grazing (allowing the plants to recover before the they are grazed again) and animal impact (mobbing the animals so that you get effective nutrient distribution from dung and urine and letting the livestock break the soil surface – particularly crusted soils - to assist in capturing the rainfall).
Cost of refurbishing land: Recent estimates reported in the controversial document entitled Livestock ’s Long Shadow, indicate that the rehabilitation of degraded lands to pasture with conventional methods can cost as much as USD $40 per hectare per year Requier-Desjardins and Bied-Charreton,
Regreening the Drylands with Livestock: Climate Smart Pastoralism #BeatingFamine
Regreening the Drylands withLivestock: Climate Smart Pastoralism Climate Smart Agriculture must include Climate Smart Pastoralism
11 Shrub Cover, closed-open, evergreen 12 Shrub Cover, closed-open, deciduous 13 Herbaceous Cover, closed-open 14 Sparse herbaceous or sparse shrub coverGrasslands and rangelands make up vast areas of the earth’s surface
Livestock Related Emissions by GHG Production fertilisants N Chemical N. fert. production Energie fossile fuel On-farm fossil ferme Déforestation N2O Deforestation e Sol cultivé from ag. soils OM release ur an % Désertification pâturages Pasture degradation M 25 Transformation fuel Processing fossil Deforestation 34% CO2 Transport fossil fuel Transport Fermentation ruminale Enteric fermentation Effluents,storage / processing Manure stockage/traitement Epandage fertilisants N N fertilization Enteric fermentation Production légumineuses Legume production 26% Effluents,storage / processing Manure stockage/traitement Effluents,spreading / dropping Manure épandage/dépôt Effluents, emission indirecte Manu indirect emissionsSteinfeld, 2009 CH4
“Insatiable Carbon Absorbers”Improving grazing land management has the second highest technical potentialfor mitigating C emissions (IPCC 2007)
Kenya’s Rangelands• Grazing lands make up 40% of Kenya’s of total land area• Dryland Grazing Systems under Sustainable Grazing Practices can sequester 0.05 – 0.7 Tonnes C/Ha/Yr• Room for improvement because of land degradation• Integrating trees (silvopastoral systems) ramp up the potential for carbon storage (along with other co- benefits)
Solar Energy Flow Nutrient Dynamics Photos: C. Legg Managing Ecosystem Processes Water Cycle Biological Community Dynamics Photos: C. Leggett Photos: C. Leggett
Non-effective water cycle Effective water cycle50-80% of rainfall is lost through run-off 1 % increase in SOMand evaporation. 144,000 L H20 per Ha Soil bare between plants Soil covered with plants and mulch After: water table www.managingwholes.com
Can livestock be used to manage ecosystems processes? Photo credit: C.Neely Photo credit: C. Leggett Photos: C. Leggett, C. NeelyPhoto credit: C. Leggett
Overgrazing and Land Degradation Cessation of overgrazing alone could sequester 167.7 MtCO2e yr-1 globally (Conant and Paustian 2002). RECOVERY PERIOD Planned grazingSource: Belinda Low, Grevy’s Trust Animal impact Slide adapted from Belinda Low Grevy’s Zebra Trust
Slide Adapted from: R. Hatfield, LWFExclude or Allow Animal Impact
Laikipia Westgate Northern Rangelands Trust Kajiado Turkana Among others Scaling up may require at least one hundredcommunity mobilizers and thousands of herders along with well placed learning sites
Pastoralist Innovation Field School Sustainable Value/Benefit Chain Kajiado, Kenya