Forests can contribute to climate change mitigation through a range of pathways such as reducing emissions through avoided deforestation, increasing carbon stocks through reforestation or afforestation or substituting for fossil fuel emissions through bioenergy production or substituting high-energy building materials, with timber. Forests have played a major role in Australia’s national climate change mitigation responses since it ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1994. Reduced rates of deforestation and increased reforestation allowed Australia to meet its first commitment period (2008-2012) target in the Kyoto Protocol (KP) despite significant emissions growth in the broader economy. Forest-related activities, and in particular avoided deforestation and reforestation, will also allow Australia to exceed its KP second commitment period (2012-2020) target.
In addition to relying on reduced rates of deforestation there has been considerable research and policy innovation in Australia in developing new mitigation options for the forest sector. This has included national legislation to allow carbon mitigation through land-based projects and the development of formal methods for the production of Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) from avoided deforestation, forest management and reforestation. There has also been considerable work on new approaches to reforestation of farmland including (a) forests established to produce non-traditional benefits such as watershed or biodiversity restoration via carbon sequestration, (b) methods to integrate reforestation into farming systems to reduce competitive effects and increase co-benefits. Although these approaches have been developed within an Australian context they are relevant globally as countries grapple with the issues of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions and also broad-scale environmental degradation.
Soils originating from volcanic ashes (i.e. Andosols) are deposited around the Ethiopian Rift Valley. As a result of insufficient land management, the region has experienced deforestation and subsequent soil degradation. Although soils from the Ethiopian Rift Valley are exposed to intense solar radiation, the soil temperature regimes of the volcanic ash soils are largely unknown. Volcanic ash soils generally have unique physical properties compared to other mineral soils. Therefore, we hypothesized that volcanic ash soils in the Ethiopian Rift Valley would also have unique soil thermal characteristics that control soil temperatures. The objectives of this study were to investigate the characteristics of thermal conductivity and diffusivity of a volcanic ash soil from the central Ethiopian Rift Valley, and to evaluate the effects of the thermal characteristics on soil temperatures. The results demonstrated that the thermal conductivity of the volcanic ash soil from the central Ethiopian Rift Valley was low compared to non-volcanic mineral soils due to both the low thermal conductivity of the solid phase and the high porosity of the soil. The thermal characteristics of the Ethiopian volcanic ash soil were similar to that of volcanic ash soil from Japan. The low thermal diffusivity was associated with low thermal conductivity of the soil, and this impeded diurnal soil temperature fluctuations to propagate to deeper depths. Consequently, temperatures of only vicinity of the soil surface rose to higher levels due to the intense solar radiation, whereas the temperature amplitude of the subsurface soil was slight.
In Mongolia, the natural disaster dzud occurs regularly. Dzuds have adverse effects on mobile pastoralism, which is a key industry in Mongolia. This paper reviews previous articles based on empirical research on how Mongolian herders can avoid the effects of dzuds and how they can recover if they couldn’t be avoided. We focused the research on factors that need to be improved. As for avoidance, it has been shown in several articles that mobility is an effective way to mitigate the decline of livestock numbers due to dzuds. The feed, warm environment for livestock, and mutual support of herders have also been reported to be effective in mitigating the effects of dzuds. For example, older herders are easily affected by dzuds because they have difficulties with mobility and feed. In terms of recovery, herders’ households with a large number of livestock before the dzuds and households with assets such as gold were taking action to recover their livestock numbers. Households that could not recover after dzuds were raising an increasing number of female goats, which are more vulnerable to disasters, because of the increasing cashmere demand. In addition, some households lost their livestock in dzuds, left the rangelands, and worked in cities or mines, but there were household discords. However, with regard to avoidance, research on the destination of the movement has been delayed. Research on feed, etc., is also limited to specific areas. It is necessary to accumulate knowledge in more areas. With regard to recovery, there are fewer empirical studies than of avoidance. Also, compared to studies in Africa, the sample sizes and durations in Mongolia are shorter. Mongolia has an accumulation of livestock population data, so it is possible to utilize that and improve the size and period of the sample. Furthermore, there are many previous studies mainly on rangelands, but it is thought that more comprehensive analysis is necessary in the future as herders are moving back and forth between rangelands and cities. With the progress of these studies, mobility can be maintained, reliable resources and environment in the rangelands can be secured, and affected households will be able to maintain their living standards by going back and forth between cities and rangelands. It is considered that the nomadic society’s vulnerability to dzuds can be reduced.