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

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