New EIP-AGRI Focus Groups
Nieuwe oproep Focus Groups EIP-AGRI - deadline indienen applicatie is 23 maart 2017.
Focus Group: New forest practices and tools for adaptation and mitigation of climate change
First meeting: 20-21 June 2017
Question: Which new practices and tools can improve the climate mitigation and adaptation potential of EU forests?
The Paris Agreement recognises that forests will be crucial for achieving the long-term objective of balancing anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and removals by sinks in the second half of the century. EU forests currently sequester around 10% of annual EU emissions and their mitigation potential may increase in the next decades with the use of innovative practices and tools; however it may also diminish if appropriate sustainable forest management practices are not put in place. Forests are also exposed to the effects of climate change which may increase forest vulnerability due to the changing environmental conditions, such as more frequent and extreme weather events and disturbances. Thus forest adaptation to climate change and their ability to help mitigate climate change need be considered jointly.
At the same time, with increasing demand for renewable wood materials, renewable energy and potential of wood to substitute energy intensive materials, there is growing pressure on forests to provide these products. In addition, forests and the forest sector play a vital role in the sustainable development of EU rural areas, contributing to employment and economic growth and to landscape and nature conservation. Therefore, when considering new practices and tools for adaptation and mitigation of climate change, it is essential to adopt a holistic approach towards forests - integrating the economic, social and environmental dimensions – in accordance with the EU Forest Strategy [COM(2013)659].
The Focus Group will address ways to enhance mitigation and adaptation potential of EU forests, while taking into account that forests provide multiple functions and services to EU citizens. The group should also consider trade-offs between mitigation and adaptation, as sometimes reducing mitigation in the short term may be necessary to improve adaptation.
Focus Group: Grazing for Carbon
First meeting: 13-14 June 2017
Question: How to increase the soil carbon content from grazing systems?
Grasslands are an important source of low-cost and high-quality feed for ruminants. Grassland soils store large quantities of carbon and in many regions have the potential to sequester even more carbon, while providing a range of other ecosystem services related to habitat and water quality. Grazing also contributes to the preservation of certain ecosystems, where grazing is necessary to maintain the existing biological balance. In some regions grazing is the only potential agricultural activity. Due to climate change, the area covered by these regions will grow, especially in the dryer regions.
However, the potential for carbon sequestration and techniques for achieving it are country/region specific, and differ across soil types, management practices and climate. Carbon sequestration is highly variable across small spatial scales, and subject to reversibility/impermanence due to short-term flooding, drought and wind erosion. The use of appropriate practices is necessary to maintain the local ecosystems, production systems and enhance the potential for soil carbon storage.
The focus will be on grazing…
- in intensive production systems where the potential carbon sequestration is often under used,
- in areas under high climate change pressure. These areas have often fragile ecosystems, where the removal of grazing practices would have negative consequences for the local and global environment (e.g. desertification). Although it delivers a number of ecosystem services, production in these areas is often not economically rewarding.
This Focus Group will look into alternative grazing management systems which can improve the underlying economics and the positive environmental effects, notably soil carbon storage. This Focus Group builds further on the outcomes of the Focus Group on Profitability of permanent grassland and the Focus Group on Soil organic matter content in Mediterranean regions.