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Measuring and modelling soil carbon stocks and stock changes in livestock production systems - Guidelines for assessment (Draft for public review)

Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) Partnership








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    Measuring and modelling soil carbon stocks and stock changes in livestock production systems - Guidelines for assessment. Version 1 2019
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    These guidelines are a product of the Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) Partnership, a multi-stakeholder initiative whose goal is to improve the environmental sustainability of the livestock supply chains through better methods, metrics and data. These guidelines provide a harmonized, international approach for estimating soil organic carbon (SOC) stock and stock changes in livestock production systems. The intended uses of this document are all those having an interest in quantifying soil carbon stocks or stock changes. Wide is the range of objectives and scales for SOC stock change studies, for example: Global or regional accounting for GHG emissions and removals from the land sector as a component of climate change accounting; Monitoring, reporting and verification obligations for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; Analysis of the climate change impact of livestock products; Evaluation of the environmental impacts of grazing land management for animal agriculture; Assessment of the mitigation potential of agricultural practices at an industry, region or farm scale; Implementing mitigation options in an emissions trading or other market mechanism where payments for SOC sequestration depend on accurate and verifiable quantification; Research into soil and biological processes affecting SOC stocks and dynamics. A set of methods and approaches are recommended for use by individual farmers or land managers, by those undertaking life cycle assessment of livestock products, policy makers, or regulators at local, regional or national scales.
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    Measuring and modelling soil carbon stocks and stock changes in livestock production systems – A scoping analysis for the LEAP work stream on soil carbon stock changes 2019
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    In order to build consensus on methods to measure and model soil carbon stocks and stock changes, the Steering Committee of the Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) Partnership mandated a task force to develop this scoping analysis and pave the way towards the formation of the LEAP Tecnical Advisory Group on soil carbon stock changes. Soil carbon sequestration and storage in grasslands offers a significant potential to compensate for GHG emissions from livestock, but the lack of consensus on the appropriate methodologies to account for soil carbon stock changes hinders robust and standardized assessments. In this report, we reviewed several published soil organic carbon (SOC) models, and evaluated their aptitude to combine them with life cycle assessments (LCAs). Among contentious issues, the most relevant are: a) the lack of universal models, b) the uneven data availability, comparability and quality between countries and regions, and c) the difficulty to match measurable SOC fractions with those determined by the models. Taking this into account, a tiered approach is proposed, according to the availability of original data to run the models. The use of IPCC carbon (C) accounting system appears to be the simplest approach suitable to countries with scarcity of original C data. Conversely, more complex models such as Century (Parton 1987, 1988) or Roth C (Smith 1998) are likely to perform better and give less uncertainty when original input data are easily available.
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    Document
    Water use of livestock production systems and supply chains – Guidelines for assessment (Draft for public review)
    Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) Partnership
    2018
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