Livelihood diversifying potential of livestock based carbon sequestration options in pastoral and agro pastoral systems in Africa

Project duration: 3 years

Project Description:

Livestock based pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in African dry lands are poor, vulnerable and marginalized - and becoming more so. Dependency on traditional livestock based livelihood options is increasingly untenable making diversification more and more urgent.

Payment for environmental services (PES) based on carbon sequestration and reduction of carbon emissions linked to livestock and rangeland management practices has been proposed as potential additional livelihood option, but the science-base how to manage livestock to combine income from such PES systems with that of livestock production is absent.

The project proposed here aims to fill this knowledge gap through an integrated four-step research program:

(1) Estimate the carbon sequestering potential of rangelands taking advantage of existing long-term livestock and rangeland management experiments and assess the potential of avoiding carbon emissions by decisions on land-use and livestock management;
(2) Explore adaptive livestock management options to sequester and avoid emissions of carbon from rangelands through collaborative research with local livestock keeping communities in Ethiopia and Burkina Faso;
(3) Assess the effects of changes in livestock and rangeland management on GHG emissions and land surface albedo;
(4) Synthesize the research findings, combining the impact of livestock and rangeland
management practices aimed at sequestration and avoidance of carbon emissions while taking into account the combined radiative forcing of GHG emissions and albedo, and assess the potential of PES scenarios to diversify pastoral livelihoods.