‘Climate Smart’ Agricultural Practices May Not Always be Climate Smart – Scientist

20 November 2013

Climate and farmer-smart farming can slow emissions and reduce the risk of global warming, but policymakers and practitioners should be careful not to assume that higher crop yields automatically reduce farmland expansion and related pressure on forests, a top forestry expert has said.

The world’s population is projected to expand from 7 billion people to 9.6 billion by 2050, according to the United Nations, and tropical forests risk falling victim as farmland expands to feed more people, said economist Arild Angelsen, a senior associate with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and a professor with the Norwegian University of Life Sciences.

If crop yields on existing farmland are boosted, pressure to convert forests to agriculture might be reduced, however, raising crop yields could also increase the incentive to convert more land to agriculture, Angelsen cautioned at a side event held at U.N. climate talks in Warsaw, Poland.

Read more from CIFOR here