Session on Land Use Change, Forestry, and Climate Change Action Planning
Resorts World Sentosa
Session: An Integrated Approach to Climate and LULUCF Research: Bridging Science and Climate Change Action Planning
Section: IWG - Interdisciplinary Working Groups, #12
This session is to be held during the Joint Assembly of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS). This will be in Singapore from 13-17 August.
Main Convener: Dr. Kendra Gotangco (Manila Observatory, Philippines)
Co-Convener: Dr. Kevin Gurney (Arizona State University, United States)
With the IPCC highlighting the contribution of deforestation to carbon emissions, negotiations for a post-2012 climate policy infrastructure are taking into consideration a wider role for the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry sector (LULUCF) in climate change mitigation. This is the context in which initiatives such as REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries) are emerging as an increasingly popular and much-debated policy option in lowering the atmospheric burden of CO2.
However, scientific literature suggests that the REDD framework – and the overall carbon-based policy infrastructure for LULUCF, in general – is an incomplete approach to land-climate interactions. Climate impacts of deforestation are not equivalent to the climate impacts of fossil fuel emissions due to biophysical feedbacks from albedo, sensible heat flux, latent heat flux or evapo-transpiration, and surface roughness. Describing the dynamics of biophysical-carbon-climate coupling is a subject of active investigation in scientific circles but has yet to enter policy discussions in any significant way.
Furthermore, in the developing world, there is currently a growing clamor for tools to climate-proof development and build climate resilience. The design of comprehensive land use plans and development plans has emerged as a concrete mechanism by which climate change action planning can be put into practice for both mitigation and adaptation purposes. Hence, there is a pressing need to translate climate science and LULUCF research not just for an interdisciplinary but also a trans-disciplinary audience.
The overall goal of this session, therefore, is to explore the LULUCF science-policy nexus, and the modes by which land-atmosphere research can be brought to be bear on policy design and planning. Specific objectives are the session two-fold: Firstly, it aims to explore the interactions between land use and climate through an integrative lens cognizant of biophysical, carbon and climate feedbacks.
Secondly, the session aims to explore methods, techniques and tools by which climate and LULUCF research can be applied towards assisting or facilitating decision-making on land use options to maximize benefits for mitigation, adaptation, and even disaster risk management. Furthermore, it seeks to identify synergies and points of convergence between climate sciences and other disciplines such as the social sciences, business and governance, etc.; including the intersections between climate research and development work. Through an open discussion among scientists interested in the science-society nexus, this session hopes to deepen our understanding of human-environment-climate dynamics.