Keywords

spatial planning, ecosystem services, carbon forestry, emission trading, integrated modelling

Start Date

1-7-2012 12:00 AM

Description

Ecosystem services are rapidly becoming a useful framework for policy and decision-making at the international, national and local level. Integration of multiple ecosystem services allows to evaluate trade-offs between alternative scenarios. Carbon sequestration is a fundamental service provided by forests. The New Zealand Government has introduced an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to meet its international obligations in a cost-effective manner. This establishes a price on greenhouse gas emissions thus providing an incentive to reduce emissions or plant forests to absorb CO2. The Waikato Regional Council has developed a Regional Carbon Strategy to benefit from the ETS by planting trees on marginal farmland used mainly for sheep and beef farming. A Geographic Information System (GIS) was used to identify the most suitable land and an integrated spatial decision support system was then used to compare cost/benefits and to assess various ecosystem services (for example biodiversity, water quality, water runoff) from a carbon forestry scenario against a reference scenario, both run to 2050. The carbon forestry scenario assumed an approximate net additional 75,000 hectares planted and reported reduced nitrogen and phosphorus loads to waterways, less runoff and enhanced biodiversity, while sequestration provided an economically viable opportunity for sheep and beef farmers on marginal land.

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Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Land use change from pastoral farming to carbon forestry: Identifying trade-offs between ecosystem services using economic-ecological spatial modelling

Ecosystem services are rapidly becoming a useful framework for policy and decision-making at the international, national and local level. Integration of multiple ecosystem services allows to evaluate trade-offs between alternative scenarios. Carbon sequestration is a fundamental service provided by forests. The New Zealand Government has introduced an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to meet its international obligations in a cost-effective manner. This establishes a price on greenhouse gas emissions thus providing an incentive to reduce emissions or plant forests to absorb CO2. The Waikato Regional Council has developed a Regional Carbon Strategy to benefit from the ETS by planting trees on marginal farmland used mainly for sheep and beef farming. A Geographic Information System (GIS) was used to identify the most suitable land and an integrated spatial decision support system was then used to compare cost/benefits and to assess various ecosystem services (for example biodiversity, water quality, water runoff) from a carbon forestry scenario against a reference scenario, both run to 2050. The carbon forestry scenario assumed an approximate net additional 75,000 hectares planted and reported reduced nitrogen and phosphorus loads to waterways, less runoff and enhanced biodiversity, while sequestration provided an economically viable opportunity for sheep and beef farmers on marginal land.