Regeneration of secondary forest or using palm oil to mitigate climatic change
Rossum, R.N. van
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Due to global climate change the pressure to undertake actions to mitigate increases. This thesis evaluates actions that will mitigate the release of anthropogenic greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Methods to mitigate the effects of the most important greenhouse gas, CO2, can broadly be divided into two categories: reduction of emissions and sequestration of atmospheric carbon. One option in each category is evaluated in this thesis to determine which is the most efficient in terms of carbon mitigation. The options investigated are palm oil production or the regeneration of secondary forests. The limiting factor in both processes is the available area. This study concludes that, when starting with a degraded Imperata grassland, palm oil production leads to a sequestration of 234,5 Mg C ha-1 after the first plantation cycle of 25 years. 51,9 Mg C ha-1 of this sequestration is carbon mitigated by the actual palm oil production over 25 years. Forest regeneration sequesters a total of 193,7 Mg C ha-1 during the same time-period. Allowing more time-steps results in bigger relative yields in the palm oil scenario. Starting a palm oil plantation in an area already containing tropical forest, or with peat soil, results in carbon emissions that require a period of at least 75 or 600 years to repay the incurred carbon debt. Although the conversion of grassland to a palm oil plantation yields the best results in terms of carbon mitigation, the choice for a mitigation option can be influenced by the preference for other secondary effects.