Bioeconomic meta-modelling of Indonesian agroforests as carbon sinks
In many areas of developing countries, economic and institutional factors often combine to give farmers incentives to clear forests and repeatedly plant food crops without sufficiently replenishing the soils. These activities lead to large-scale land degradation and contribute to global warming through the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. We investigate whether agroforestry systems might alleviate these trends when carbon-credit payments are available under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol. A meta-modelling framework is adopted, comprising an econometric-production model of a smallholding in Sumatra. The model is used within a dynamic-programming algorithm to determine optimal combinations of tree/crop area, tree-rotation length, and firewood harvest. Results show the influence of soil-carbon stocks and discount rates on optimal strategies and reveal interesting implications for joint management of agriculture and carbon.
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