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Title: D7.4-2 Review on CO2 emissions mitigation through prescribed burning options to apply prescribed fires within the frame of the Kyoto protocol a case study in Patagonia
Subject: [FIRE PARADOX Deliverables, Fire Paradox Modules, Module 7 - Policies and practices assessment, WP7.4 - Review of CO2 emissions mitigation through prescribed burning][Fire Paradox Vocabulary, FP Themes, Prescribed burning][Fire Paradox Vocabulary, FP Terms, carbon emissions]
Description: Although wildland fire is known as a natural force that has shaped most vegetation types of the world, its mismanagement during the last century has lead to more frequent and catastrophic fires at present times. Apart from the concern raised globally on how to deal with this problem, wildland fires are also being recognized as one of the sources of CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHG´s) that influence global climate change. One of the techniques used to reduce the risk of destructive wildfires (i.e. prescribed burning), has also the theoretical potential of mitigating carbon emissions, and effectively contributes to the efforts proposed as part of the Clean Development Mechanism within the Kyoto protocol. In order to apply this concept to a real case, a study was set in pine afforestations of the Andean region of Patagonia, Argentina, with the objective of evaluating the potential of prescribed burns for reducing GHG’s emissions. The scenario was established for a period of ten years, in which prescribed burns were compared to the traditional management scheme, which included the probability of annual average of wildfire occurrence based on available wildfire statistics. The two contrasting situations were: 1) Managed afforestations, affected by the annual average rate of wildfires occurred in the same type of afforestations in the region, without prescribed burning, and 2) Same as 1) but with the application of prescribed burning. In order to estimate carbon stocks, and CO2 removals and emissions, we followed the directions given for GHG´s inventories on the AFOLU sector of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Data of afforested area, thinnings, and biomass growth were taken from previous surveys in the study area. Downed dead wood and litter (Forest Fuel Load, FFL) was estimated adjusting equations fitted to those fuels, based on field data. Results show that comparing the two scenarios, prescribed burning reduced CO2 emissions by 44% as compared to the situation without prescribed burnings. Prescribed burning emissions represented about 12% of the total emissions (prescribed burning plus wildfires). Furthermore, avoided wildfires by prescribed burnings allowed an additional 78% GHG's emission mitigation due to extra biomass growth, and its emission mitigation could be kept positive by increasing the treated area several times the used here. In summary, prescribed burnings probed to be a management practice that could not only help prevent wildfires to achieve productive objectives, but also an efficient tool to mitigate worldwide GHG’s emissions.
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Language: English
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Creator: CIEFAP
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Rights restrictions: restricted
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Audience: public
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