Land-use change modelling, scenarios development and impacts assessment on CO2 and N2O emissions from vegetation degradation in the Dassari Basin, Benin

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MAY, 2016
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The Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was developed as an attempt to confront and begin to reverse the rising CO2 concentrations. But in order to set emission reduction targets in AFOLU (Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Uses) sector, land use scenarios must be developed. The present study addressed this issue in exploring the possible future temporal and spatial impacts on CO2 and N2O emissions from vegetation degradation in the Dassari Basin in the North- West of Benin. To achieve this objective, the current vegetation carbon and nitrogen stocks were estimated using the highest Tier level recommended by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and scenarios were developed based on the current trend of land use and socio-economic status of the site. The land use cover changes showed a deforestation rate of 1.48 %. The estimated mean carbon stock values and attached standard errors varied from 1.52 ± 0.14 (for the cropland) to 97.83 ± 27.55 (for the plantations) Mg C ha-1. The estimated nitrogen stock varied from 0.0077± 0.0067 (for the cropland) to 0.321±0.088 (for the plantations) Mg ha-1 of N. A total of 175,347.75 ± 21,042.48 (CI) and 875.53 ± 101.45 (CI) Mg was found for carbon and nitrogen stocks respectively in 2013 at 95 % (CI). The business as usual scenario or the baseline (LUS1) will contribute to the emissions of 26.70 Gg CO2 eq. and to a net removal of 21.70 Gg of CO2 per year over the period 2013-2025. The impact of the policy based food security scenario (LUS2) will contribute to decrease the total emission by up to 29.25 % and will increase the net removal by up to 42.94 % whereas policy based adaptation and mitigation strategy to climate change scenario (LUS3) and food security based mitigation strategy to climate change scenario (LUS4) will respectively contribute to reduce the total emission by up to 13.14 % and 36.47 %. Despite these findings the basin will still be a sink by 2025, but it is time to act and react to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable communities and contribute to the removal of CO2 through local project development or project based carbon fund.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Civil Engineering in partial fulfilment of requirements for the degree of Doctor Of Philosophy in Climate Change and Land Use at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology