Spatial assessment of carbon stocks of living vegetation at the national level in Lao PDR

Hett, Cornelia; Heinimann, Andreas; Messerli, Peter (2011). Spatial assessment of carbon stocks of living vegetation at the national level in Lao PDR. Geografisk tidskrift - Danish journal of geography, 111(1), pp. 11-26. København: Routledge; Taylor & Francis Group 10.1080/00167223.2011.10669519

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The international mechanism for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) supposedly offers new opportunities for combining climate mitigation, conservation of the environment, and socio-economic development for development countries. In Laos REDD is abundantly promoted by the government and development agencies as a potential option for rural development. Yet, basic information for carbon management is missing: to date no knowledge is available at the national level on the quantities of carbon stored in the Lao landscapes. In this study we present an approach for spatial assessment of vegetation-based carbon stocks. We used Google Earth, Landsat and MODIS satellite imagery and refined the official national land cover data to assess carbon stocks. Our study showed that more than half (52%) of carbon stock of Laos is stored in natural forests, but that 70% of this stock is located outside of national protected areas. On the basis of two carbon-centered land use scenarios we calculated that between 30 and 40 million tons of carbon could be accumulated in shifting cultivation areas; this is less than 3% of the existing total stock. Our study suggests that the main focus of REDD in Laos should be on the conservation of existing carbon stocks, giving highest priority to the prevention of deforestation outside of national protected areas.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Integrative Geography > Unit Geography of Sustainable Development
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Integrative Geography > Unit Sustainable Land Management
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > NCCR North-South Management Centre (discontinued)
10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Hett, Cornelia; Heinimann, Andreas and Messerli, Peter

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics

ISSN:

0016-7223

Publisher:

Routledge; Taylor & Francis Group

Language:

English

Submitter:

Users 124 not found.

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:25

Last Modified:

12 Nov 2015 15:06

Publisher DOI:

10.1080/00167223.2011.10669519

Web of Science ID:

000291474800001

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/9067 (FactScience: 214738)

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