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Using carbon reforestation for water and environmental restoration

Harper, R., Smettem, K., Sochacki, S., Nakagami, Y., Honda, S., Takahashi, F., Kawamoto, K. and Bulinski, J. (2011) Using carbon reforestation for water and environmental restoration. Journal of Arid Land Studies, 21 (2). pp. 57-61.

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Abstract

A range of environmental problems including loss of biodiversity, desertification, and compromised water quality persist across many arid and semi-arid environments despite a good technical understanding of both the processes involved and likely solutions. Reforestation is an emerging method of carbon mitigation and this carbon investment may thus provide a means of addressing these environmental problems and achieving landscape scale changes. A possible negative outcome of large scale land-use change may be depletion of food production. In south-western Australia several approaches have been used to integrate carbon mitigation with food production and to value the various environmental services (e.g. water quality and yield, carbon mitigation) produced from reforestation. This paper describes three case studies: (1) a large-scale commercial carbon reforestation scheme project which integrates strips of eucalypts with cereal farming, (2) reforestation of salinized and abandoned farmland and (3) watershed scale modeling that uses an existing hydrologic model to predict water yield and quality impacts of reforestation. Although reforestation is also likely to result in other environmental benefits these are often not valued. In contrast, where hydrologic models exist, these allow the valuation of water benefits. In the latter example, the value of several products of reforestation (wood, carbon, water) were assessed and compared to the value of products from the existing farming system.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Japanese Association for Arid Land Studies
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/28685
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