CIFOR–ICRAF publishes over 750 publications every year on agroforestry, forests and climate change, landscape restoration, rights, forest policy and much more – in multiple languages.

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Global carbon sequestration potential of agroforestry and increased tree cover on agricultural land

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Biomass is fundamental to circular agricultural systems. Estimates of above- and below-ground biomass on agricultural land based upon IPCC Tier 1 estimates are compared with an updated carbon density map based on remote sensing, with results indicating the methodology and initial estimations are robust. Two scenarios are evaluated to estimate carbon sequestration potential of increasing tree cover on agricultural land: 1) incremental change and 2) a systemic change to agroforestry. Estimates of above- and below ground biomass carbon were combined with a tree cover analysis to estimate the increase in biomass. Global increases (4−6 PgC for incremental change; 12−19 PgC for systemic change) highlight substantial mitigation potential. Increasing global tree cover on agricultural land by 10% would sequester more than 18 PgC. South America has the highest potential, followed by Southeast Asia, West and Central Africa, and North America. Brazil, Indonesia, Philippines, India, the United States and China are among the top countries with the highest carbon sequestration potential on agricultural land with increased tree cover.

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