New Article: Which practices co‐deliver food security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and combat land degradation and desertification?

There is a clear need for transformative change in the land management and food production sectors to address the global land challenges of climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, combatting land degradation and desertification, and delivering food security (referred to hereafter as “land challenges”).

12-11-2019
https://knowledge.unccd.int/publications/new-article-which-practices-co-deliver-food-security-climate-change-mitigation-and

The authors assess the potential for 40 practices to address these land challenges and find that:

  • Nine options deliver medium to large benefits for all four land challenges.
  • A further two options, have no global estimates for adaptation, but have medium to large benefits for all other land challenges.
  • Five options have large mitigation potential (> 3 GtCO2e yr‐1) without adverse impacts on the other land challenges.
  • Five options have moderate mitigation potential, with no adverse impacts on the other land challenges.
  • Sixteen practices have large adaptation potential (>25 million people benefit), without adverse side‐effects on other land challenges.
  • Most practices can be applied without competing for available land. However, seven options could result in competition for land.

A large number of practices do not require dedicated land, including several land management options, all value chain options, and all risk management options.

  • Four options could greatly increase competition for land if applied at a large scale, though the impact is scale and context specific, highlighting the need for safeguards to ensure that expansion of land for mitigation does not impact natural systems and food security.

A number of practices such as increased food productivity, dietary change and reduced food loss and waste, can reduce demand for land conversion, thereby potentially freeing‐up land and creating opportunities for enhanced implementation of other practices, making them important components of portfolios of practices to address the combined land challenges.

This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process, which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record.

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Which practices co‐deliver food security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and combat land‐degradation and desertification?

Authors:

Pete Smith, Katherine Calvin, Johnson Nkem, Donovan Campbell, Francesco Cherubini, Giacomo Grassi, Vladimir Korotkov, Anh Le Hoang, Shuaib Lwasa, Pamela McElwee, Ephraim Nkonya, Nobuko Saigusa, Jean‐Francois Soussana, Miguel Angel Taboada, Frances Manning, Dorothy Nampanzira, Cristina Arias‐Navarro, Matteo Vizzarri, Jo House, Stephanie Roe, Annette Cowie, Mark Rounsevell, Almut Arneth.

This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process, which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record.

Please cite this article as doi:10.1111/gcb.14878

Abstract

There is a clear need for transformative change in the land management and food production sectors to address the global land challenges of climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, combatting land‐degradation and desertification, and delivering food security (referred to hereafter as “land challenges”). We assess the potential for 40 practices to address these land challenges and find that:

Nine options deliver medium to large benefits for all four land challenges. A further two options, have no global estimates for adaptation, but have medium to large benefits for all other land challenges. Five options have large mitigation potential (> 3 GtCO2e yr‐1) without adverse impacts on the other land challenges. Five options have moderate mitigation potential, with no adverse impacts on the other land challenges.

Sixteen practices have large adaptation potential (>25 million people benefit), without adverse side‐effects on other land challenges.

Most practices can be applied without competing for available land. However, seven options could result in competition for land. A large number of practices do not require dedicated land, including several land management options, all value chain options, and all risk management options. Four options could greatly increase competition for land if applied at a large scale, though the impact is scale and context specific, highlighting the need for safeguards to ensure that expansion of land for mitigation does not impact natural systems and food security.

A number of practices such as increased food productivity, dietary change and reduced food loss and waste, can reduce demand for land conversion, thereby potentially freeing‐up land and creating opportunities for enhanced implementation of other practices, making them important components of portfolios of practices to address the combined land challenges.

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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