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Accounting for carbon and GHG emissions: balancing multiple landscape functions on farmland

Tildelt: kr 7,8 mill.





2010 - 2014

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This project will use complementary modelling approaches to assess how landscape changes may affect the carbon storage capacity, GHG emissions and multifunctionality of agricultural landscapes. These multiple functions include provision of food security, support of viable rural communities, maintenance of cultural heritage, provision of attractive landscapes for recreation and tourism, maintenance of habitats for plants and animals, and ecosystem services such as water cycling, erosion control and pollina tion services. Individual agricultural policies and land management decisions seldom take account of more than one or two functions. As pressure increases to minimise GHG emissions and maximise carbon storage, it is important to ensure that changes made t o accommodate one important issue do not eclipse all other issues. This project will improve our understanding of how combinations of land use, farming practices and soil types influence the carbon balance in different agricultural systems, and how change s in land use may affect both carbon footprints and the other functions of agricultural landscapes. Although scientifically based knowledge can play an important role in natural resource management, it is important to recognize that land use decisions ar e made by farmers and landowners and many factors influence their decisions. Using a questionnaire survey and interviews with farmers, we will examine farmers' perceptions of and adaptations to climate change and the issues incorporated in the multifuncti onality concept. We will ask how agri-environmental subsidies, public information and other factors influence farmers and may motivate them to change their land use practices in ways that improve the sustainability of their farming. In addition to increas ed scientific understanding, the project will provide recommendations for policy makers and management authorities on how to achieve a more sustainable balance between the multiple landscape functions on farmland.