Thursday, November 14, 2013

Combining climate-change adaptation and mitigation: a win-win option

Barbara Fraser in Forest News: Although rural landscapes can be managed to optimize both climate-change mitigation and adaptation, many climate-oriented development projects fail to take advantage of the combined benefits, according to Bruno Locatelli, a scientist with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD).

With careful planning, landscapes can be managed to emphasize the synergies between adaptation and mitigation while balancing the trade-offs, he said at a conference at the Tropical Agriculture Research and Higher Education Center (Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza, CATIE) in Costa Rica in October.

“There’s huge potential for integrating adaptation and mitigation in the 235 projects we reviewed worldwide, but project documents often don’t mention reasons for doing so,” Locatelli told participants at the seventh Henry A. Wallace Inter-American Scientific Conference, marking the 40th anniversary of CATIE’s founding.

Mitigation, which involves reducing or offsetting greenhouse gas emissions, and adaptation, which refers to adjustments to reduce the impact of climate change, are often pigeonholed separately, he said.

But rural landscapes contribute to both adaptation and mitigation, absorbing and storing carbon while buffering the effects of climate change and enabling farmers to diversify their livelihoods. Rural development projects focusing on adaptation could easily incorporate mitigation strategies, Locatelli said....

Lajos Tihanyi's 1911 painting, "Forest Landscape"

No comments: