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The purpose of this project is to improve data and measurement and monitoring methods for greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. The project’s focus is on agriculture in tropical developing countries, for which the present data situation is particularly bad. So bad indeed, that tropical countries are forced to rely on data from temperate regions, which may not be accurate for tropical soils, crops and animals according to Richards. This gap translates into high uncertainty about current and past emissions and consequently lessens developing countries’ overall ability to monitor their greenhouse gas emissions and, more importantly, assess the potential mitigation co-benefits of agricultural development. According to Richards, one of the underlying problems is that “agricultural landscapes in the tropics tend to be highly heterogeneous.” However, CCAFS scientists from CIFOR, ILRI, ICRAF and partners found a way to combine GIS data and remote sensing data, with locally-sourced information on agricultural management, to stratify the landscapes into different kinds of land use types. These homogeneous landscape units are then used to get representative samples of the landscape when measuring emissions. This allows capturing the heterogeneity of the regions in question and also to estimate point measurements to the landscape.

The methodology, as well as guidelines for measurement of other agricultural sources and sinks, are available on the SAMPLES website.

vía  | CCAFS: CGIAR research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security.

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