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A mission named “GHG mitigating mission-2025” aims to mitigate 23MtCO2eq from agriculture, livestock and forestry sector within 2025.


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Summary

Bangladesh, being an agriculture based country, has minute greenhouse gas (GHG) emission compared to other countries of the world but it is appallingly affected by the vulnerability of climate change. A substantial amount of GHGs produced from Bangladesh comes from the agriculture, forestry and livestock sector. Emission from flooded rice fields, enteric fermentation & manure management, burning of agriculture residues, biomass burning are some imperative sources of GHGs. The proposed ideas of “GHG mitigating mission, 2025” are for mitigating substantial amount of GHGs (23 Mt) from these sources by 2025. The actions involve midseason drainage, off-season incorporation of rice straw, substituting urea with ammonium sulphate, replacement of roughage with concentrated feed, use of dome digester, tillage and residue management, high efficiency fertilizer application and artificial and participatory woodlot plantation. Some actions have also been introduced to reduce methane and nitrogen dioxide emission and practice of bio-fuel instead of fossil-fuels has been emphasized. The required changes in the policies in order to fulfill the mitigating mission have also been addressed. The proposals prefer bottom-up approaches incorporating all possible stakeholders. 


What actions do you propose?

Lessening GHG Emission from Agriculture and Livestock:

Agriculture can contribute to the solution by: reducing emission (beneficial management practices that reduce emissions), removing emission (carbon sequestration) and using biomass energy (animal waste or plant biomass for energy).  Strategies that can be taken are as follows:

1.      Mid season Drainage:

It involves the removal of surface floodwater from the rice crop for about seven days towards the end of tillering. It aerates the soil and shifting drainage time from vegetative period to reproductive period help reduce CH4 production and emission (ClimateTech Wiki, n.d.).

  • The drop in redox potential associated with CH4 planting occurs faster if the field had been flooded in the previous season, so alternate wet and dry season cropping could further reduce methane emissions (Hardy, 2013).
  • If organic amendment occurs at the beginning of the previous season instead of immediately before rice production, CH4 production is reduced (Yan, Yagi, Akiyama and Akimoto, 2005).
  • Mid season drainage increases N2O emissions. It can help mitigation of N2O if a field was frequently water logged by intermittent irrigation. Shorten drainage day also help reduce N2O emission (ClimateTechWiki, n.d.).

 

2.      Fertilizer Application:

Ammonium sulphate (inhibit methanogen) and ammonium phosphate (promote rice plant growth) can be applied in substitute to urea (Towprayoon, 2004). Adopting ammonium sulphate slightly depresses CH4 although significantly decreases N2O (Li, Salas, DeAngelo and Rose, n.d.).

3.      Off-Season Incorporation of Rice Straw:

Application of rice straw in the fallow period—instead of soil incorporation directly during puddling —would further significantly reduce CH4 emissions. Rice straw is best applied to dry soil in the off- season and emits less CH4 if composted. After harvest, straw residue incorporation involves chopping and discing the chopped residue in the soil (Richards and Sander, 2014).

4.      System of Rice Intensification (SRI):

Aspects of SRI techniques are: wider spacing and earlier transplanting. SRI offers the potential to increase yields while decreasing GHG emissions, a win-win. But N2O emissions are likely to be 1.5x higher in SRI compared to flooded rice production due to the availability of oxygen (Hardy, 2013).

5.      Replacement of roughage with concentrates:

In developing countries, the most promising and cost-effective way to reduce CH4 emissions from cattle is to enhance productivity by improving feed quality. CH4 production with high-concentrate feed is lower than that with high-roughage feed. Concentrates are feeds that contain a high density of nutrients, usually low in crude fiber content and high in total digestible nutrients.  Roughages are feeds with a low density of nutrients, with crude fiber content over 18% of DM, including most fresh and dried forages and fodders. Feeding high-protein/low-fiber rations, specifically by feeding more concentrates, can reduce CH4 production. Feeding starchy crop waste is an effective way of reducing CH4 emissions from ruminants (Shibata and Terada, 2009).

6. Some Other Beneficial Management Practices to reduce emission:

a. Reducing emissions by using low energy light bulbs, energy-efficient appliances and using fuel-efficient machinery in agriculture related fields

b. Implementing beneficial management practices that reduce the amount of CH4 or N2O leaving farm

7. Removing Emission of GHG:  Following are some solution to reduce GHG emission like Nitrous Oxide, Methane, emission from fossil fuel.

a. Solutions to Nitrous Oxide Emission:

·         Applying green manure (legume) rotation crops that provide “free” nitrogen, reducing fertilizer requirements

·         Applying manure and composts instead of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers

·         Dividing fertilizer applications, optimizing timing and amount applied based on crop demand, soil tests

·         Planting winter cover crops, such as winter rye, to help store soil nitrogen within the root zone, reducing nitrate leaching and leaving more nitrogen available for cash crops

b. Solutions to Methane Emission:

·         Utilizing new feeding strategies and feed amendments to reduce dairy cow methane emissions and boost milk production efficiency

·         Using covered or tank storage of manure and storing at low temperatures

·         Removing manure promptly from barn floors

·         Adjusting manure spreaders for crop fertilizer needs and incorporating manure into soils immediately

·         Creating energy from manure waste with an anaerobic digester

c. Changing management practices to sequester (store) more carbon in the soil which can be done by:

·         Reducing the frequency and intensity of soil tillage

·         Including more hay crops in annual rotations

·         Producing high-residue yielding crops and reduced fallow periods

·         Improving pasture and rangeland management

·         Conserving and restoring degraded lands

d. Planning to use biomass energy from animal waste or planting biomass to help power the farm.

e. Exploring renewable energy options, such as bio-fuel crops, biogas capture from manure waste, wind turbines, and solar systems

f. Substitution of bio fuels for fossil fuels: The contribution of bio fuels to GHG reductions will be highly dependent on policies, fossil fuel prices, the specific fossil fuels replaced, the technologies used to convert biomass into energy, and per acre yields of energy crops.

g. Enhancing ruminant animal digestion efficiency to reduce methane emissions.

h. Improving manure handling and storage to reduce methane and carbon dioxide emissions

·         By spreading manure evenly around the pasture to prevent loss of nitrogen

·         By encouraging beneficial insects (e.g., stable fly, horn fly, face fly) in the dung, which will recycle nitrogen into the soil, rather than losing it into the atmosphere.

i. Building up soil organic matter to improve soil health, crop productivity and soil carbon sequestration by reducing tillage, planting winter cover crops, and applying organic matter amendments such as compost

j. Strategies to reduce emissions of agricultural methane from enteric fermentation include improving animal health and genetics, feed additives and more productive grazing systems

k. Utilizing soil testing to determine fertilizer requirements

  • Better timing and placement of fertilizer and use of nitrification inhibitors and controlled fertilizer to reduce nitrous oxide emissions
  • Improving nitrogen fertilizer use efficiency to reduce nitrous oxide emissions and using organic sources of nitrogen such as legume rotation crops and manure when possible (AESA, 2002).

 

Limitation of adopting the strategies:

  • Risk, particularly given the likelihood of long-term contracts for carbon sequestration and the high likelihood of changes in economic and technological conditions that can result in unforeseen costs;
  • Financial constraints and access to credit when adopting new practices;
  • Uncertainty about the long-term effects on crop productivity of adopting carbon-sequestering practices.

 

Lessening GHG Emission from Forestland:

Artificial and Participatory Woodlot Plantation

Three main strategies can be taken for rapid artificial reforestation and to control the GHG emission from forestland.

1. To reduce source of greenhouse gases in forest sector:

  • Reducing forest clearing for shifting agriculture by substituting sustainable, intensified, sedentary techniques, including agroforestry
  • Introducing crop mixes, planting and management system and improved genetic strains to increase productivity per unit area and intensifying management on existing pasture to increase site productivity can be the way to achieve the stated objective
  • Improving efficiency of cook stove and industrial biomass use
  • Reducing damage to standing trees and soils during timber harvest
  • Reducing soil carbon loss via soil conservation farming practice

 

2. To maintain existing sinks of carbon in forest systems:

  • Conserving standing forest
  • Introducing sustainable harvesting method to control tree damage
  • Establishment of sustainable extractive reserves and natural forests

 

3. Expanding carbon sinks through sustainable forest management:

  • To expedite natural regeneration of deforested land.
  • Improving productivity of forest on available pasture.Two kind of forest can be generated:
  1. Protection forest (for watershed protection, erosion control, eco system regeneration)
  2. Production forest (bio fuel plantation, agro forest, carbon pump)
  • Increasing soil carbon storage through soil management (Kupfer & Karimanzir,n.d). (Siddiqi & Saenger, 2010)

 

Some important measures should be kept in mind in artificial reforestation of Mangrove, Inland and Hill forest to control GHG emission.

Mangrove Plantation:

·         Monospecific mangrove cultures should be replaced by Silviculture. More importantly, plantations need to be designed as multi specific systems to minimize reason of deforestation (Siddiqi & Saenger, 2010).

·         The changing soil salinities as well as soil maturation of the newly accreted lands require an integrated program of sequential planting of suitable species which are able to adapt to the changing conditions. In contrast to the existing situation, such an integrated program requires the long-term control and tenure of the land by the Forest Department (Siddiqi & Saenger, 2010).

Special requirements should be fulfilled in two steps called species selection and nursery and planning techniques. Roughly 27 species of mangroves and a similar number of mangrove associates occur in Bangladesh. Sonneratia apetalaand, Avicennia officinalis-showed encouraging survival rates, and as a consequence, these two species dominate the mangrove plantations. In nursery and planting techniques, Germination onset and success is largely controlled by salinity, which needs to be maintained below 20ppt; above 20ppt germination performance declines rapidly (Siddiqi & Saenger, 2010).

Inland plantation:

·       Attempts have been made to replace the natural low yield forests by valuable indigenous as well exotic species (Acacia species) since the beginning of the scientific management of these forests (Kupfer & Karimanzir,n.d).

Hill plantation:

·         Estimated average annual growth is 2.5 and 10 m3/ha/year for long rotation and short rotation plantations, respectively. For long rotation plantation, the trees are subjected to thinning for years to maintain good timber production (Kupfer & Karimanzir, n.d).


Who will take these actions?

Mitigation and low carbon development has already been identified as a priority theme in Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP), 2008 which has been revised in 2009. Government of Bangladesh will make an action plan including the above proposals and submit it to UNFCCC for getting Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) which has been launched by UNFCCC to support a number of climate change activities such as mitigation and technology transfer in developing countries.

In 1994, the emission inventory was prepared and submitted to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by Government of Bangladesh. The inventory should be carried out each year to gather up-to-date data and checked whether the actions are being able to mitigate GHG emission.

A new wing named “GHG Mitigating Mission 2025” will be opened under “Ministry of Planning” with a mission to mitigate 23 Mt CO2 eq from agriculture, livestock and forestry sector within the year 2025. This wing will be formed with the collaboration of Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock and Ministry of Environment and Forests. A committee in the National Level will be formed with representatives from Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC), Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC), Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM), Department of Forests from Ministry of Environment and Forests and Department of Livestocks from Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock. The committee will be responsible for formulating boards in each of the 64 districts of Bangladesh. This board will work for disseminating information among farmers about the proposed measures and also for motivating them to undertake the measures. The committee will perform survey to assess if the proposed measure goes with the existing socio-environmental condition of the areas.


Where will these actions be taken?

The actions will be taken in Bangladesh which is a developing country in South-Asia. It is an agriculture-based country having almost 28 million families directly or indirectly engaged in agriculture (DAE, 2013). Bangladesh has agrarian economy, which comprises of about 19% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employs about 45% of the total labour force. Livestock plays an important role here in agro-based development. The performance of livestock sub-sector has great implication in the economic development, as it contributes of 2.8% of GDP and shares about 17.2% in agriculture. Bangladesh is a forest poor country though it is green. About 6.7% of the total land cover is called as public forest with very little natural forest. The main forests of Bangladesh are the Chittagong Hills (1800 sq.m.) and the Sundarbans (2300 sq.m.). These forests are the source of timber used for a variety of purposes, including pulp for the domestic paper industry, poles for electric power distribution, and leaves for thatching for dwellings (Jilani, 2012). 

Bangladeshi farmers working in rice fieldsFunctions of livestock in Bangladesh Mangrove Forest of Bangladesh


How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?


 


What are other key benefits?

  • Maintaining and increasing soil organic matter, thereby improving soil quality and fertility, increasing water-holding capacity, and reducing erosion.
  • Improving water quality in both surface and ground waters by efficient use of nitrogen and other farm inputs
  • Improving air quality and reduced undesirable odors by using digesters
  • Increasing the growth in a relatively short duration and thereby making livelihood easier for  those who depend on  forestry
  • Reduction of the agricultural yield risk and assuring safer livelihood for farmers.


What are the proposal’s costs?

Allowable Abatement Cost (AAC) can vary from 0 to 100US$/tCO2eq for the expected GHG emission reduction by the year 2025. Midseason drainage (MD), cooking fuel and light (CFL) and replacement of roughage with concentrate (RRC) are “No Regret Technologies” as they require negative or zero cost. AAC <0US$/tCO2eq will provide 10MtCO2eq of mitigation potential. Mitigation potential will be almost 13MtCO2eq under 10US$/ tCO2eq of AAC. Off-season incorporation of rice straw (OIR), high Efficiency fertilizer applications (HEF), tillage and residue management (TRM), replacement of urea in fertilizer with ammonium sulphate (RAS) will be applied from 0US$/tCO2eq to 10 US$/tCO2eq of AAC. The above reduction measures will be applied with expensive technologies like high genetic merit (HGM) and daily spread of manure (DSM) within the range <100 US$/tCO2eq to >100 US$/tCO2eq. Long rotational artificial reforestation and short rotational participatory woodlot plantation resulted 5% and 2% under mitigation cost 25millionUS$ respectively.  Long rotational artificial reforestation and short rotational participatory woodlot plantation will result in 7.1 MtCO2eq and 2.9 MtCO2eq respectively under mitigation cost 25millionUS$. 

The following figure shows the mitigation potential in agricultural sector at various allowable additional mitigation cost:


 

 


Time line

A study has been conducted in 2012 that estimated mitigation potential from 2000 to 2025 based on the input data and future assumption for Bangladesh. Mitigation potential of 10MtCO2eq in 2000 will be increased to 12.8MtCO2eq in 2025 in agricultural sector. Among applied reduction measures, Midseason drainage (MD), cooking fuel and light (CFL) and replacement of roughage with concentrate (RRC) contributed larger mitigation potential of 3MtCO2eq, 2.1MtCO2eq and 2.2MtCO2eq respectively. The study showed that these measures will contribute in mitigation potential of 3.4MtCO2eq, 2.2MtCO2eq and 2.5MtCO2eq in 2010 respectively. These three reduction measures are assumed to contribute further with rising trend in mitigation potential of 11% and 14% in 2020 and 2025 respectively (Jilani, 2012).

The largest mitigation potential of 75% in 2020 and 74% in 2025 will be provided by the combination of cooking fuel and light (CFL), replacement of roughage with concentrate (RRC) from livestock sector and Midseason drainage (MD) in rice paddy cultivation. However, in livestock sector for enteric fermentation CFL has greater potential than replacement of urea in fertilizer with ammonium sulphate (RAS), contributed about 32% and 21% higher mitigation potential in 2025 from 2000 respectively. In rice paddy cultivation, the potentiality of Off-season incorporation of rice straw (OIR) will be reduced from 50% in 2000 and 2025 with the combination of MD. MD and OIR significantly reduced emission of 3.3MtCO2eq in 2000 in total mitigation potential and will increased to 4MtCO2eq in 2025.Tillage and residue management (TRM) and high efficiency fertilizer applications (HEF) will also contribute inGHG reduction. The following figure shows the tentative timeline which has been studied for agricultural sector in Bangladesh: 



Related proposals

https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/1300205/planId/1307603

https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/1300205/planId/1306801


References

AESA. (2002). A Workbook on Greenhouse Gas Mitigation for Agricultural Managers. Alberta. Retrived 29 June, 2014 from http://www.fao.org/prods/gap/database/gap/files/1397_GHG_MITIGATION_CANADA.PDF

ClimateTechWiki. (n.d.). Rice: mid-season drainage. Retrieved 30 June, 2014 from http://www.climatetechwiki.org/technology/rice-mid-season-drainage

Hardy, A. G. (2013). Greenhouse gas emissions from rice. Retrieved 30 June, 2014 from http://www.southasia.ox.ac.uk/sites/sias/files/documents/GHG%20emissions%20from%20rice%20-%20%20working%20paper.pdf

Kupfe, D., & Karimanzir, R. Agriculture, Forestry and Other Human Activities. Germany: IPCC response  Strategies Working Group.

Li, C., Salas, W., DeAngelo, B. and Rose, S. (n.d.). Assessing alternatives for mitigating net greenhouse gas emissions and increasing yields from rice production in China over the next 20 years. Retrieved 30 June, 2014 from http://soilcarboncenter.k-state.edu/conference/carbon2/Li_Baltimore_05.pdf

Richards, M., and Sander, B. O. (2014). Alternate wetting and drying in irrigated rice: Implementation guidance for policymakers and investors. Retrieved 30 June, 2014 from http://cgspace.cgiar.org/bitstream/handle/10568/35402/info-note_CCAFS_AWD_final_A4.pdf?sequence=1

Shibata, M. and Terada, F. (2009). Factors affecting methane production and mitigation in ruminants, National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science, Japan.

Siddiqi, N., & Saenger, P. (2010). Land from the Sea: The Mangrove Afforestation Program of Bangladesh. Australia: Southern Cross University Publicaions.

Towprayoon, S. (2004). Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Options from Rice Field. Retrieved 30 June, 2014 from https://unfccc.int/files/meetings/workshops/other_meetings/application/vnd.ms-powerpoint/towprayoon.ppt

Yan, X., K. Yagi, H. Akiyama, and H. Akimoto. 2005. Statistical analysis of the major variables controlling methane emission from rice fields. Global Change Biology, 11:1131-1141.

T. Jilani, et al. 2012. Low Carbon Society Development towards 2025 in Bangladesh. Kyoto.