Land Use in Climate Policy - Forest Based Options at Local Level with Cases from India
With India’s large population, an increased pressure on forest and agricultural land indicate a growing demand for environmental services that is sustainable for the future. Fertile agricultural land is limited and with an increased demand for energy production the development expands to degraded lands, the wasteland. About one fifth of India’s total area is classified as wasteland with estimated biomass productivity of less than 20% of their overall potential. Re-vegetation of wasteland can be one way to reclaim the productivity and restore the carbon storage in the soils This thesis combines five separate papers and results in an improved understanding of the local, regional and global implications of different initiatives on land use change. It also analyses the environmental and socioeconomic effects of different efforts, both theoretical and practical. The research presented in this thesis was motivated by a perceived lack of local case studies exploring the contexts of climate policy. The results in this thesis confirm that the performance of individual forest-based project activities will depend on local conditions, for example land availability and local acceptance. In other words, successful implementation of forest-based project activities will require local participation and is likely to involve multiple forest products and environmental services that are prioritised by the local community. Further the results illustrate the environmental and socioeconomic benefits from a large-scale establishment of multi-functional biomass production systems on wasteland could be substantial, for example decreased erosion, increased infiltration and income generation. However, in many cases, the establishment of afforestation and reforestation activities is hindered by low land productivity, water scarcity and a lack of financial resources for investments. Compensatory systems may help to overcome the financial barrier; however, the price of carbon needs to be significantly increased if these measures are to have any large-scale impact. The land suitability analysis uses environmental thresholds in GIS analyses to create data layers showing the amount of wasteland available for plantations. Using tree different options for land use management the result shows that over 70% of the wasteland in the district of Tumkur can be planted with suggested six species.. The literature review shows that policymakers set the research agenda by declaration, which states the focus, while researchers feed the decision-making process until a decision is made.
Parts of work
I. Palm M., Ostwald M., Berndes G. and Ravindranath NH. (2009) Application of Clean Development Mechanism to forest plantation projects and rural development in India. Applied Geography 2:2-11. ::doi::10.1016/j.apgeog.2008.05.002II. Palm M., Ostwald M. and Reilly J. (2008) Land use and forestry based CDM in scientific peer-reviewed literature pre-and post-COP 9 in Milan. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics 8:249-274. ::doi::10.1007/s10784-008-9074-6III. Berndes G., Börjesson P., Ostwald M. and Palm M. (2008) Multifunctional biomass production systems – an overview with presentation of specific applications in India and Sweden. Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining 2:16-25. ::doi::10.1002/bbb.52IV. Palm M., Ostwald M., Murthy I., Chaturvedi R. and Ravindranath NH. (2009) Barriers for afforestation and reforestation activities in different agro-ecological zones of Southern India. Submitted to Regional Environmental Change.V. Palm M. (2009) Land suitability analysis and the establishment of land use options on wasteland in Tumkur district, India. Working paper.
Doctor of Philosophy
Göteborgs universitet. Naturvetenskapliga fakulteten
Department of Earth Sciences ; Institutionen för geovetenskaper
Fredagen den 27 november 2009, kl. 10.00, Stora Hörsalen, Geovetarcentrum, Guldhedsgatan 5A
Date of defence