Impacts of land management and climate change in a developing and socioenvironmental challenging transboundary region

Mendoza Ponce, A. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9069-0652, Corona-Núñez, R.O., Nava, L.F. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4047-6006, Estrada, F., Calderón-Bustamante, O., Martínez-Meyer, E., Carabias, J., Larralde-Corona, A.H., et al. (2021). Impacts of land management and climate change in a developing and socioenvironmental challenging transboundary region. Journal of Environmental Management 300 e113748. 10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.113748.

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Abstract

Land-use/cover change is the major cause of terrestrial ecosystem degradation. However, its impacts will be exacerbated due to climate change and population growth, driving agricultural expansion because of higher demand of food and lower agricultural yields in some tropical areas. International strategies aimed to mitigate impacts of climate change and land use-cover change are challenging in developing regions. This study aims to evaluate alternatives to minimize the impacts of these threats under socioeconomic trajectories, in one of the biologically richest regions in Guatemala and Mexico. This study is located at the Usumacinta watershed, a transboundary region that shares a common history, with similar biophysical properties and economic constraints which have led to large land use/cover changes. To understand the impacts on deforestation and carbon emissions of different land-management practices, we developed three scenarios (1): business as usual (BAU), (2) a reducing emissions scenario aimed to reduce deforestation and degradation (REDD+), and (3) zero-deforestation from 2030 onwards based on the international commitments. Our results suggest that by 2050, natural land cover might reduce 22.3 and 12.2% of its extent under the BAU and REDD + scenarios, respectively in comparison with 2012. However, the zero-deforestation scenario shows that by 2050, it would be possible to avoid losing 22.4% of the forested watershed (1.7 million ha) and recover 5.9% (0.4 million hectares) of it. In terms of carbon sequestration, REDD + projects can reduce the carbon losses in natural vegetation, but a zero-deforestation policy can double the carbon sequestration produced by REDD + projects only. This study shows that to reduce the pressures on ecosystems, particularly in regions highly marginalized with significant migration, it is necessary to implement transboundary land-management policies that also integrate poverty alleviation strategies.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Climate change; Deforestation; Guatemala; Mexico; REDD+; Usumacinta watershed
Research Programs: Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR)
Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR) > Agriculture, Forestry, and Ecosystem Services (AFE)
Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR) > Water Security (WAT)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2021 06:08
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 06:08
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/17437

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