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Kirui K.B.,Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute | Kairo J.G.,Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute | Bosire J.,Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute | Viergever K.M.,Ecometrica | And 3 more authors.
Ocean and Coastal Management | Year: 2013

Mangroves in Kenya provide a wide range of valuable services to coastal communities despite their relatively small total area. Studies at single sites show reductions in extent and quality caused by extraction for fuel wood and timber and clearance for alternative land use including saltpans, aquaculture, and tourism. Such studies suggest that Kenyan mangroves are likely to conform to the general global trend of declining area but there are no reliable recent estimates of either total mangrove extent or trends in coverage for the country. The total extent of Kenyan mangroves was estimated at four points in time (1985, 1992, 2000 and 2010) using Landsat satellite imagery. Due to its medium resolution, Landsat may underestimate mangrove areas in Kenya where relatively small, linear, coastal features occur. There is also a high frequency of clouds in the coastal areas which can cause data gaps during analysis. However comparison with aerial photographs taken in 1992 showed satisfactory levels of accuracy (87.5%) and Cohen's Kappa (0.54) validating its use in this context. These 1992 data provided an independently validated baseline from which to detect changes (fore- and hind-casted) in other periods after removing cloud coverage. We estimated total mangrove coverage in 2010 at 45,590ha representing a loss of 18% (0.7%yr-1) in the 25 years between 1985 and 2010. Rates of mangrove loss for Kenya varied both spatially and temporally with variations possibly due to legislative inadequacies and differences in habitat alteration patterns. Hence freely available Landsat images proved adequate to detect changes in mangroves and revealed that Kenya shows rates of decline similar to (although slower than) global estimates. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Morel A.C.,University of Oxford | Saatchi S.S.,Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Malhi Y.,University of Oxford | Berry N.J.,Ecometrica | And 2 more authors.
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2011

Conversion of tropical forests to oil palm plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia has resulted in large-scale environmental degradation, loss of biodiversity and significant carbon emissions. For both countries to participate in the United Nation's REDD (Reduced Emission from Deforestation and Degradation) mechanism, assessment of forest carbon stocks, including the estimated loss in carbon from conversion to plantation, is needed. In this study, we use a combination of field and remote sensing data to quantify both the magnitude and the geographical distribution of carbon stock in forests and timber plantations, in Sabah, Malaysia, which has been the site of significant expansion of oil palm cultivation over the last two decades. Forest structure data from 129ha of research and inventory plots were used at different spatial scales to discriminate forest biomass across degradation levels. Field data was integrated with ALOS PALSAR (Advanced Land-Observing Satellite Phased Array L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar) imagery to both discriminate oil palm plantation from forest stands, with an accuracy of 97.0% (κ=0.64) and predict AGB using regression analysis of HV-polarized PALSAR data (R2=0.63, p<.001). Direct estimation of AGB from simple regression models was sensitive to both environmental conditions and forest structure. Precipitation effect on the backscatter data changed the HV prediction of AGB significantly (R2=0.21, p<.001), and scattering from large leaves of mature palm trees significantly impeded the use of a single HV-based model for predicting AGB in palm oil plantations. Multi-temporal SAR data and algorithms based on forest types are suggested to improve the ability of a sensor similar to ALOS PALSAR for accurately mapping and monitoring forest biomass, now that the ALOS PALSAR sensor is no longer operational. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

Sanchez S.T.,Life Cycle Associates LLC | Woods J.,Imperial College London | Akhurst M.,Imperial College London | Brander M.,Ecometrica | And 5 more authors.
Journal of the Royal Society Interface | Year: 2012

The expansion of land used for crop production causes variable direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions, and other economic, social and environmental effects. We analyse the use of life cycle analysis (LCA) for estimating the carbon intensity of biofuel production from indirect land-use change (ILUC). Two approaches are critiqued: direct, attributional life cycle analysis and consequential life cycle analysis (CLCA). A proposed hybrid 'combined model' of the two approaches for ILUC analysis relies on first defining the system boundary of the resulting full LCA. Choices are then made as to the modelling methodology (economic equilibrium or cause-effect), data inputs, land area analysis, carbon stock accounting and uncertainty analysis to be included. We conclude that CLCA is applicable for estimating the historic emissions from ILUC, although improvements to the hybrid approach proposed, coupled with regular updating, are required, and uncertainly values must be adequately represented; however, the scope and the depth of the expansion of the system boundaries required for CLCA remain controversial. In addition, robust prediction, monitoring and accounting frameworks for the dynamic and highly uncertain nature of future crop yields and the effectiveness of policies to reduce deforestation and encourage afforestation remain elusive. Finally, establishing compatible and comparable accounting frameworks for ILUC between the USA, the European Union, South East Asia, Africa, Brazil and other major biofuel trading blocs is urgently needed if substantial distortions between these markets, which would reduce its application in policy outcomes, are to be avoided. © 2012 The Royal Society. Source

Berry N.J.,University of Leeds | Berry N.J.,Ecometrica | Phillips O.L.,University of Leeds | Lewis S.L.,University of Leeds | And 8 more authors.
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2010

The carbon storage and conservation value of old-growth tropical forests is clear, but the value of logged forest is less certain. Here we analyse >100,000 observations of individuals from 11 taxonomic groups and >2,500 species, covering up to 19 years of post-logging regeneration, and quantify the impacts of logging on carbon storage and biodiversity within lowland dipterocarp forests of Sabah, Borneo. We estimate that forests lost ca. 53% of above-ground biomass as a result of logging but despite this high level of degradation, logged forest retained considerable conservation value: floral species richness was higher in logged forest than in primary forest and whilst faunal species richness was typically lower in logged forest, in most cases the difference between habitats was no greater than ca. 10%. Moreover, in most studies >90% of species recorded in primary forest were also present in logged forest, including species of conservation concern. During recovery, logged forest accumulated carbon at five times the rate of natural forest (1.4 and 0.28 Mg C ha-1 year-1, respectively). We conclude that allowing the continued regeneration of extensive areas of Borneo's forest that have already been logged, and are at risk of conversion to other land uses, would provide a significant carbon store that is likely to increase over time. Protecting intact forest is critical for biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation, but the contribution of logged forest to these twin goals should not be overlooked. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010. Source

Torres A.B.,University of York | Torres A.B.,Instituto Tecnologico Y Of Estudios Superiores Of Occidente Iteso | Torres A.B.,Sustainable Development Technology | Marchant R.,University of York | And 4 more authors.
Ecological Economics | Year: 2010

Carbon sequestration in forest sinks is an important strategy to remove greenhouse gases and to mitigate climate change; however its implementation has been limited under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol which has not created the incentives for widespread implementation. The objective of this paper is to analyze the sequestration costs of agroforestry afforestation and reforestation projects (ARPs) following a partial market equilibrium using average cost curves and economic break even analysis to identify the supply costs. The modelling done in this work contrasts the voluntary and clean development mechanism transaction costs. Data is based on the voluntary project, Scolel Té, being implemented in Mexico. Cost curves are developed for seven different sequestration options considering transaction and implementation costs; information from agricultural production in Chiapas Mexico is used to integrate opportunity costs of two agroforestry practices suggesting that sequestration costs may follow a "U" shape, with an initial reduction due to economies of scale and a subsequent increase caused by high opportunity costs. The widespread implementation of agroforestry options not requiring complete land conversion (e.g. living fences and coffee under shade) might be cost effective strategies not generating high opportunity costs. Results also suggest that payments in the early years of the project and lower transaction costs favour the development of ARPs in the voluntary market especially in marginal rural areas with high discount rates. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

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