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Organic Agriculture and Carbon Sequestration

Possibilities and constrains for the consideration of organic agriculture within carbon accounting systems








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    Article
    Organic Agriculture and Climate Change 2010
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    This article discusses the mitigation and adaptation potential of organic agricultural systems along three main features: farming system design, cropland management and grassland and livestock management. An important potential contribution of organically managed systems to climate change mitigation is identified in the careful management of nutrients and, hence, the reduction of N2O emissions from soils. Another high mitigation potential of organic agriculture lies in carbon sequestration in so ils. In a first estimate, the emission reduction potential by abstention from mineral fertilizers is calculated to be about 20% and the compensation potential by carbon sequestration to be about 40–72% of the world’s current annual agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but further research is needed to consolidate these numbers. On the adaptation side, organic agriculture systems have a strong potential for building resilient food systems in the face of uncertainties, through farm diversi fication and building soil fertility with organic matter. Additionally, organic agriculture offers alternatives to energy-intensive production inputs such as synthetic fertilizers which are likely to be further limited for poor rural populations by rising energy prices. In developing countries, organic agricultural systems achieve equal or even higher yields, as compared to the current conventional practices, which translate into a potentially important option for food security and sustainable l ivelihoods for the rural poor in times of climate change. Certified organic products cater for higher income options for farmers and, therefore, can serve as promoters for climate-friendly farming practices worldwide
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Grassland carbon sequestration: management, policy and economics
    Proceedings of the Workshop on the role of grassland carbon sequestration in the mitigation of climate change
    2010
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    Grasslands are important worldwide and play a unique role as they link agriculture and environment and offer tangible solutions ranging from their contribution to mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, to improvement of land and ecosystem health and resilience, biological diversity and water cycles while serving as a basis for agricultural productivity and economic growth. This book profiles 13 contributions by some of the world’s most active scientists on the subjects of measuring soil carbon in grassland systems and sustainable grassland management practices. While many different aspects of carbon sequestration in grasslands are covered, many gaps in our knowledge are also revealed, and it is hoped that this book will promote discussion, prompt further research, contribute to develop global and national grassland strategies and contribute to sustainable production intensification.
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    Document
    Initial Results of the Carbon Balance Appraisal on the Agriculture Technology and Agribusiness Advisory Services (ATAAS) Project in Uganda EX-ACT Software for Carbon-Balance Analysis of Investment Projects
    Applied Work. EASYPol Module 119
    2012
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    Agriculture can play an important role in climate change mitigation while contributing to increased food security and reductions in rural poverty. The Ex-Ante Carbonbalance Tool (EX-ACT) can estimate the mitigation potential of rural development projects/programmes brought on by changes in farming systems and land use. This study presents and discusses the EX-ACT analysis performed on a multi-donorsupported (World Bank, EU, IDAD, GEF, Danida) project in Uganda (the Agricultural Technology and Ag ribusiness Advisory Services Project - ATAAS). Based on projected estimates, the impact of project activities on greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration show that the mitigation benefits achieved through the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices (intensification of agricultural lands without deforestation, improved cropland and grassland management, soil and water conservation) can balance the emissions associated with the increase in inputs use and petrol consumption due to t he project. Three simulations have been carried out: first using the direct objectives of the ATAAS project; then reviewing the objectives of the project from a more pragmatic point of view; and finally reviewing the assumptions made to build the baseline scenario. The study shows possible synergies between mitigation and rural development goals, and puts forward possible options for the financing of proposed improvements.

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