Hartland, VT, United States
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Rahn E.,International Center for Tropical Agriculture | Rahn E.,Eawag - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology | Laderach P.,International Center for Tropical Agriculture | Baca M.,International Center for Tropical Agriculture | And 5 more authors.
Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change | Year: 2014

There are worldwide approximately 4.3 million coffee (Coffea arabica) producing smallholders generating a large share of tropical developing countries’ gross domestic product, notably in Central America. Their livelihoods and coffee production are facing major challenges due to projected climate change, requiring adaptation decisions that may range from changes in management practices to changes in crops or migration. Since management practices such as shade use and reforestation influence both climate vulnerability and carbon stocks in coffee, there may be synergies between climate change adaptation and mitigation that could make it advantageous to jointly pursue both objectives. In some cases, carbon accounting for mitigation actions might even be used to incentivize and subsidize adaptation actions. To assess potential synergies between climate change mitigation and adaptation in smallholder coffee production systems, we quantified (i) the potential of changes in coffee production and processing practices as well as other livelihood activities to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions, (ii) coffee farmers’ climate change vulnerability and need for adaptation, including the possibility of carbon markets subsidizing adaptation. We worked with smallholder organic coffee farmers in Northern Nicaragua, using workshops, interviews, farm visits and the Cool Farm Tool software to calculate greenhouse gas balances of coffee farms. From the 12 activities found to be relevant for adaptation, two showed strong and five showed modest synergies with mitigation. Afforestation of degraded areas with coffee agroforestry systems and boundary tree plantings resulted in the highest synergies between adaptation and mitigation. Financing possibilities for joint adaptation-mitigation activities could arise through carbon offsetting, carbon insetting, and carbon footprint reductions. Non-monetary benefits such as technical assistance and capacity building could be effective in promoting such synergies at low transaction costs. © 2013, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Milne E.,Colorado State University | Milne E.,University of Leicester | Neufeldt H.,World Agroforestry Center | Rosenstock T.,World Agroforestry Center | And 13 more authors.
Environmental Research Letters | Year: 2013

Landscape scale quantification enables farmers to pool resources and expertise. However, the problem remains of how to quantify these gains. This article considers current greenhouse gas (GHG) quantification methods that can be used in a landscape scale analysis in terms of relevance to areas dominated by smallholders in developing countries. In landscape scale carbon accounting frameworks, measurements are an essential element. Sampling strategies need careful design to account for all pools/fluxes and to ensure judicious use of resources. Models can be used to scale-up measurements and fill data gaps. In recent years a number of accessible models and calculators have been developed which can be used at the landscape scale in developing country areas. Some are based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) method and others on dynamic ecosystem models. They have been developed for a range of different purposes and therefore vary in terms of accuracy and usability. Landscape scale assessments of GHGs require a combination of ground sampling, use of data from census, remote sensing (RS) or other sources and modelling. Fitting of all of these aspects together needs to be performed carefully to minimize uncertainties and maximize the use of scarce resources. This is especially true in heterogeneous landscapes dominated by smallholders in developing countries. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Hillier J.,University of Aberdeen | Walter C.,Unilever | Malin D.,Sustainable Food Laboratory | Garcia-Suarez T.,Unilever | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Modelling and Software | Year: 2011

Agriculture and deforestation contribute approximately one third of global greenhouse gas emissions. Major sources of emissions in this sector are from loss of soil carbon due to repeated soil disturbance under typical crop cultivation, fossil fuel use in the production of synthetic fertilisers, direct and indirect soil nitrous oxide emissions from fertiliser application, pesticide manufacture and use, and fossil fuel combustion in machinery use (e.g. tractors, irrigation, etc). Although knowledge of emissions sources aids in the determination of potential mitigation strategies (reduced or no-till methods, use of N-fixing leguminous crops in rotations, use of lower emissions fertilisers), there currently exist limited decision support and knowledge transfer tools to enable the farmer or grower to make choices appropriate to existing management practices. In this article we present a model, and open source software tool called the "Cool Farm Tool" integrating several globally determined empirical models in a greenhouse gas calculator. The software, in requiring inputs of which a farmer typically has good knowledge (and no more), has a specific farm-scale, decision-support focus. Due to its use of only readily available farm data, there is considerable scope for its use in global surveys to inform on current practices and potential for mitigation. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

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