Title: Climate change mitigation: A spatial analysis of global land suitability for clean development mechanism afforestation and reforestation
Authors: Zomer, RJ ×
Trabucco, Antonio
Bossio, DA
Verchot, LV #
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Elsevier
Series Title: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment vol:126 pages:67-80
Abstract: Within the Kyoto Protocol, the clean development mechanism (CDM) is an instrument intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while
assisting developing countries in achieving sustainable development, with the multiple goals of poverty reduction, environmental benefits and
cost-effective emission reductions. The CDM allows for a small percentage of emission reduction credits to come from afforestation and
reforestation (CDM-AR) projects.We conducted a global analysis of land suitability for CDM-AR carbon ‘sink’ projects and identified large
amounts of land (749 Mha) as biophysically suitable and meeting the CDM-AR eligibility criteria. Forty-six percent of all the suitable areas
globally were found in South America and 27% in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Asia, despite the larger land mass, relatively less land was available.
In South America and Sub-Saharan Africa the majority of the suitable land was shrubland/grassland or savanna. In Asia the majority of the
land was low-intensity agriculture. The sociologic and ecological analyses showed that large amounts of suitable land exhibited relatively low
population densities. Many of the most marginal areas were eliminated due to high aridity, which resulted in a generally Gaussian distribution
of land productivity classes. If the cap on CDM-AR were raised to compensate for a substantially greater offset of carbon emission through
sink projects, this study suggests that it will be increasingly important to consider implications on local to regional food security and local
community livelihoods.
ISSN: 0167-8809
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Division Forest, Nature and Landscape Research
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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