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Capitalising on the carbon sequestration potential of agroforestry in Germany’s agricultural landscapes : Realigning the climate-change mitigation and landscape conservation agendas

  • The potential of agriculture, forestry, and other land uses to sequester carbon offers a powerful tool for controlling the global climate regime, but practices capable of creating “collateral” benefits for landscape conservation have thus far been disregarded. This paper calls for greater integration of scattered trees into agricultural landscapes, hypothesizing that agroforestry practices effectively store carbon and deliver other important ecosystem services as well. Several agroforests from the Upper Lusatia area in Eastern Germany have been selected for analysis. They cover relatively large areas of land (8.2%), even within this intensively used agricultural landscape, and their extent increased from 1964-2008 by 19.4%. Practices of conserving or promoting the six agroforest classes are compared with a catalogue of essential properties for becoming effective “carbon offset projects”. Criteria from mandatory and voluntary carbon markets for carbon sequestration are then applied (additionality, baselines, permanence, and carbon leakage). The study concludes that steps towards realization of “carbon sequestration projects” should include collecting empirical evidence regarding the carbon sequestration potential of temperate agroforestry systems, developing localised demonstration projects, and upscaling these projects to participate in established carbon markets.

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Author:Tobias Plieninger
Document Type:Preprint
Date of Publication (online):2013/08/29
Release Date:2013/08/29
Tag:Kohlenstoffmärkte; Ökosystemleistungen
carbon market; ecosystem services; multifunctional landscapes; payments for ecosystem services (PES); trees outside forests
GND Keyword:Landnutzung; Ökosystem
Institutes:BBAW / Drittmittelprojekt Ökosystemleistungen
Dewey Decimal Classification:7 Künste und Unterhaltung / 71 Landschaftsgestaltung, Raumplanung / 710 Städtebau, Raumplanung, Landschaftsgestaltung