Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry

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6.3.2. Additional Human-Induced Activities under Article 3.4 Generic Issues on Additional Activities

This section considers the adequacy of the Guidelines to account for changes in carbon stocks arising from additional human-induced activities in agricultural soils and LUCF (Chapter 4). Many of the additional activities under consideration are described in the Guidelines, particularly in the Reference Manual.

The key issue that emerges from Article 3.4 is the question of which activities will be included for the purpose of meeting commitments. Chapter 4 notes that the Parties have two broad choices with respect to including activities under Article 3.4:

  • Include a limited, selected set of activities (narrow definition)
  • Include all activities that can be shown to have consequences on the atmospheric concentration of GHGs (broad definition).

Chapter 4 examines effects in reporting, verifiability, and other issues related to the choice between the narrowly and broadly defined set of additional human-induced activities that could be included under Article 3.4. Chapter 4 identifies the following categories of additional human-induced activities that could be included under Article 3.4:

  • Cropland management (including agricultural intensification, conservation tillage, erosion reduction, management of rice agriculture)
  • Grazing lands management (including influencing degradation processes, grazing management, protected grasslands and set-asides, grassland productivity, fire management)
  • Agroforestry (including conversion from forests to slash-and-burn to agroforests after deforestation, conversion from low-productivity croplands to sequential agroforestry in Africa, improved agroforests)
  • Forest management (including forest regeneration, forest fertilization, fire management, pest management, harvest quantity and timing, low-impact harvesting, reducing forest degradation)
  • Wetlands management (including wetland conversion to agriculture or forestry, wetland conversion to urban or industrial land, impoundments, wetland restoration)
  • Restoration of severely degraded lands (including salt-affected soils, badly eroded and desertified soils, mine spoils, and industrially polluted sites)
  • Urban and peri-urban land management .

Many of the foregoing land-use and management practices affect the storage of carbon below ground. Such practices include reduced and no tillage, livestock grazing, shifting of cultivation, fallow rotation, improved and degraded pastures, wetland rice, and agroforestry. The Guidelines provide the framework for such treatment of changes in soil carbon caused by agricultural practices. In addition to changes associated with clearing native vegetation (described earlier for deforestation), Section 5.4.2 of the Reference Manual describes the treatment of the effects of land abandonment, shifting cultivation, differing residue addition levels, differing tillage systems, and agricultural use of organic soils. The underlying principles can then be applied to other activities.

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