I was part of a workshop in Dhaka, Bangladesh on June 6, during which preliminary results were presented regarding the work of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) under a USAID-funded research project on Low Emissions Development Strategies (LEDS) in the agriculture, forestry, and land use change (AFOLU) sectors. The workshop brought together senior people from several ministries, national agricultural research institutes, and universities.
(From left) Tim Thomas (IFPRI), Khandaker Mainuddin (BCAS), Atiq Rahman (BCAS), Alex De Pinto (IFPRI)
As the bar graph on the right shows (which is from data in the Second National Communications to the UNFCCC), greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture and land use change make up a significant part of total emissions in Bangladesh. Furthermore, the CO2 emissions from biomass burning, which does not count in the official figures, presents some opportunities for additional savings.
Some possible areas of reduction are in the following list, which is only meant to suggest possible areas to evaluate for their cost-effectiveness, not that they have been tested and recommended. All are looking for win-win scenarios, in which profitability or productivity can rise while reducing GHG emissions. One of the aims of the project is to evaluate the price of the trade-off in the cases that are not win-win.
Land Use Change / Forestry
- Reforestation / afforestation
- Protected areas for reducing deforestation
- Regulation of logging
Crop Residue Burning
- Less burning is less CH4 and N2O emissions
- Residue available for soils
- Improved cookstoves worth exploring
Soils (sequestering carbon)
- Animal manure
- Crop residues
- Agroforestry systems
Fertilizers and soil amendments
- USG / FSG
- Nimin-coated urea
- Timing and placement
- Modify fertilizer subsidy
- Change feeding practices to reduce enteric fermentation
- Change breeds to increase productivity
- Modify manure handling
- Consider impacts of biogas production from manure
- Change irrigation practices to modify CH4 emissions
- Substitute lower emitting crops like maize or potatoes
IFPRI and BCAS plan to move quickly to produce a report of their findings by the end of 2013.