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The Role of Land Carbon Sinks in Mitigating Global Climate Change

Changes to agricultural and soil management strategies could change the rate at which carbon is sequestered and released from the soil. This report outlines the scientific underpinnings of carbon sequestration, then focuses on current understanding of - and uncertainties relating to - greenhouse gas reduction from carbon sinks, and concludes with some policy recommendations.

The report estimates the up to 25 per cent of carbon reductions required to slow increases in global temperatures could come from changes to land management practices that positively affect carbon soil and vegetation sinks. However, significant uncertainty still remains as to the permanence of such reduction measures. Additionally, the report emphasises the importance of ensuring that other goals, such as local social objectives and sustainability, are met when changing land management practices.

As a comprehensive guide to the role of land management in carbon sequestration, this report outlines the scope for enhancing sinks and methods of assessing sinks. While the section on the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol is somewhat out of date, overall the report is a thorough primer to the issue.

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