Which practices co-deliver food security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and combat land-degradation and desertification?

Pete Smith*, Katherine Calvin, Johnson Nkem, Donovan Campbell, Francesco Cherubini, Giacomo Grassi, Vladimir Korotkov, Anh Le Hoang, Shuaib Lwasa, Pamela McElwee, Ephraim Nkonya, Nobuko Saigusa, Jean-Francois Soussana, Miguel Angel Taboada, Frances Manning, Dorothy Nampanzira, Cristina Arias-Navarro, Matteo Vizzarri, Jo House, Stephanie RoeAnnette Cowie, Mark Rounsevell, Almut Arneth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

There is a clear need for transformative change in the land management and food production sectors to address the global land challenges of climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, combatting land-degradation and desertification, and delivering food security (referred to hereafter as “land challenges”). We assess the potential for 40 practices to address these land challenges and find that: Nine options deliver medium to large benefits for all four land challenges. A further two options, have no global estimates for adaptation, but have medium to large benefits for all other land challenges. Five options have large mitigation potential (> 3 GtCO2e yr-1) without adverse impacts on the other land challenges. Five options have moderate mitigation potential, with no adverse impacts on the other land challenges. Sixteen practices have large adaptation potential (>25 million people benefit), without adverse side-effects on other land challenges. Most practices can be applied without competing for available land. However, seven options could result in competition for land. A large number of practices do not require dedicated land, including several land management options, all value chain options, and all risk management options. Four options could greatly increase competition for land if applied at a large scale, though the impact is scale and context specific, highlighting the need for safeguards to ensure that expansion of land for mitigation does not impact natural systems and food security. A number of practices such as increased food productivity, dietary change and reduced food loss and waste, can reduce demand for land conversion, thereby potentially freeing-up land and creating opportunities for enhanced implementation of other practices, making them important components of portfolios of practices to address the combined land challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1532-1575
Number of pages44
JournalGlobal Change Biology
Volume26
Issue number3
Early online date14 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

Keywords

  • mitigation
  • adaptation
  • land degradation
  • desertification
  • food security
  • practice
  • co-benefits
  • adverse side-effects
  • land management
  • demand management
  • risk management
  • adverse side effects
  • Food Supply
  • Acclimatization
  • Climate Change
  • Agriculture
  • Conservation of Natural Resources
  • URBAN SPRAWL
  • TROPICAL FORESTS
  • FEDERAL CROP INSURANCE
  • SOIL CARBON SEQUESTRATION
  • LIFE-CYCLE ASSESSMENT
  • ECOSYSTEM SERVICES
  • LIVESTOCK SYSTEMS
  • GREENHOUSE-GAS MITIGATION
  • NEGATIVE EMISSIONS
  • ORGANIC-CARBON

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Chemistry

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  • Cite this

    Smith, P., Calvin, K., Nkem, J., Campbell, D., Cherubini, F., Grassi, G., Korotkov, V., Hoang, A. L., Lwasa, S., McElwee, P., Nkonya, E., Saigusa, N., Soussana, J-F., Taboada, M. A., Manning, F., Nampanzira, D., Arias-Navarro, C., Vizzarri, M., House, J., ... Arneth, A. (2020). Which practices co-deliver food security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and combat land-degradation and desertification? Global Change Biology, 26(3), 1532-1575. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14878