At the Global Landscapes Forum held in Paris Dec 2015, Dr Peter Minang of the World Agroforestry Centre was one of the speakers at the Nature and Climate Change pavilion in a session that discussed what it takes for climate smart landscapes to create impact at scale.
Minang presented findings of a study that worked out four 30-year development and emission reduction scenarios in Efoulan Municipality, South Cameroon. The area was important for this study as it covers 83000 hectares of tropical humid forest zone most of which is targeted for a government rural development plan through cocoa farms extension.
Indonesia is one of the countries where World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) has had significant success in using research evidence and tools to influence government policy and implementation. For instance, the institution developed a land use planning strategy tool called LUWES that is currently being used in all provinces across Indonesia. The provinces use the LUWES tool to estimate their contribution in achieving Indonesia’s national overall target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 26% below 2020 projections in addition to a 15% reduction with multilateral support.
In an article published following the 2015 Global Landscapes Forum in Paris, Dr Peter Minang explains that tenure arrangements may help to quicken the pace for REDD+ implementation especially in countries like Cameroon where establsihing land tenure is a difficult and complex process.
A new study in Indonesia shows that for oil palm plantations to claim carbon neutrality, they can only convert land with vegetation cover holding carbon stocks equivalent to 40 Mg C ha-1. This strongly disputes recent advice by a committee of experts who claimed that the acceptable limit is conversion of land with up to 75 Mg C ha-1 under a High Carbon Stocks+ scheme.
Soil contains one fourth of the global carbon pool. It is also the most biologically diverse component of our planet with a wide array of living organisms of different sizes whose functional value includes cycling of nutrients and soil structure modifications that influence soil fertility and water retention, among others.
These attributes are telling of the potential and significant role that soil plays with regard to increasing soil carbon storage and reducing carbon emissions, both contributing to mitigate climate change; as well as increasing food production. Unfortunately, the role that soils play has not been well recognized and valued enough to feature prominently as other elements such as forests and agriculture in climate and environmental debates.