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E C O N O M I C A N D S E C T O R W O R K

M AY 2 0 1 2

REPORT NUMBER: 67395-GLB

CARBON SEQUESTRATION IN AGRICULTURAL SOILS

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CARBON SEQUESTRATION IN AGRICULTURAL SOILS

R E P O RT N O . 6 7 3 9 5 - G L B

AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

ARD

E C O N O M I C A N D S E C T O R W O R K

2012 International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/International Development Association or The World Bank1818 H Street NWWashington DC 20433Telephone: 202-473-1000Internet: www.worldbank.org

This volume is a product of the staff of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/ The World Bank. The fi ndings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this paper do not necessarily refl ect the views of the Executive Directors of The World Bank or the governments they represent.

The World Bank does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this work. The boundaries, colors, denominations, and other information shown on any map in this work do not imply any judgment on the part of The World Bank concerning the legal status of any territory or the endorsement or acceptance of such boundaries.

Rights and Permissions

The material in this work is subject to copyright. Because The World Bank encourages dissemination of its knowledge, this work may be reproduced, in whole or in part, for noncommercial purposes as long as full attribution to this work is given.

Any queries on rights and licenses, including subsidiary rights, should be addressed to the Offi ce of the Publisher, The World Bank, 1818 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20433, USA; fax: 202-522-2422; e-mail: pubrights@worldbank.org.

Cover Photos: Scott Wallace, Tran Thi Hoa, Curt Carnemark, Ami Vitale, and Ray Witlin.

CONTENTS

ECONOMIC AND SECTOR WORK

II I

TABLE OF CONTENTS

List of Figures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v

List of Photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vi

List of Tables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii

List of Boxes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . viii

Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix

Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi

Abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii

Executive Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xv

Chapter 1: Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.1: Food Security Under a Changing Climate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

1.2: Carbon Benefi ts Through Climate-Smart Agriculture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

1.3: Objectives and Scope of the Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Chapter 2: Soil Organic Carbon Dynamics and Assessment Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52.1: Soil Organic Carbon Dynamics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

2.2: Carbon Assessment for Land Management Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

2.3: Techniques of Soil Carbon Assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

2.4: Carbon Assessment in The World Banks Sustainable Land Management Portfolio. . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Chapter 3: Meta-Analyses of Soil Carbon Sequestration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193.1: Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

3.2: Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

3.3: Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Chapter 4: Ecosystem Simulation Modeling of Soil Carbon Sequestration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 434.1: Model Description. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

4.2: Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Chapter 5: Economics of Soil Carbon Sequestration. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 515.1: Marginal Abatement Costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

5.2: Trade-Offs in Soil Carbon Sequestration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

5.3: Implications of the Trade-Offs in Land-Use Decisions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

5.4: Sustainable Land Management Adoption Barriers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

5.5: Policy Options for Soil Carbon Sequestration. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

CARBON SEQUESTRATION IN AGRICULTURAL SOILS

Appendix A: The Farming Practice Effect, Number of Estimates, and Features in Land Management Practices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

Appendix B: General Scenario Assumptions and Application for World Regions . . . . . . . . . . 67B.1: Baseline Scenario . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

B.2: Global Mitigation Scenarios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

B.3: Application to World Regions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

B.4: Detailed Modeling for Africa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

Appendix C: Global Crop Yields (T ha1 yr1) Grouped into 25th, 50th, and 75th Percentile Bins Corresponding to Low, Medium, and High . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75

Appendix D: Uncertainty Analysis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

Appendix E: Assumptions for Deriving the Applicable Mitigation Area for the Land Management Practices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83

E.1: Africa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83

CONTENTSIV

ECONOMIC AND SECTOR WORK

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure E1: Abatement Rates of the Land Management Practices (t CO2e Per Hectare Per Year) . . . . . . . . . .xxii

Figure E2: Trade-Offs Between Profi tability and Carbon Sequestration of Sustainable Land Management Technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .xxv

Figure E3: Relationship Between Private Benefi ts and Public Costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxvi

Figure 1.1: Contribution of Different Sectors to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

Figure 1.2: Proportion of Agricultural Land Derived from Different Land Covers in the Tropics, 19802000 . . . . .2

Figure 2.1: Carbon Stocks in Biomass and Soils. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

Figure 2.2: Global Soil Regions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

Figure 2.3: Factors Affecting Soil Carbon Sequestration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Figure 3.1: Geographical Distribution of Carbon Sequestration Estimates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Figure 3.2: Soil Carbon Sequestration and Precipitation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Figure 3.3: Soil Carbon Sequestration and Temperature. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Figure 3.4: Soil Carbon Sequestration and Soil Order . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Figure 3.5: Soil Carbon Sequestration and Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Figure 3.6: Soil Carbon Sequestration and Application Levels of Nitrogen Fertilizer (Means and 95 Percent Confi dence Intervals, n = 285) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Figure 3.7: Soil Carbon Sequestration and Fertilizer Combinations (Means and 95 Percent Confi dence Intervals, n = 285) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Figure 3.8: Mean Soil Carbon Sequestration and Levels of Residue Returned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Figure 3.9: Classifi cation of Tillage Systems Based on Crop Residue Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Figure 3.10: Mean Soil Carbon Sequestration and Cropping Intensity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Figure 3.11: Carbon Dioxide Abatement Rates of the Land Management Practices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Figure 4.1: Representation of the RothC Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Figure 4.2: The 12 Strata Used for Ecosystem Simulation Modeling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Figure 4.3: Africa Agroecological Zone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Figure 4.4: A Screen Shot of the Soil Carbon Internet Database . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Figure 4.5: Cumulative Soil Carbon Loss by 2030 Assuming 15 Percent Residue Retention (t ha1) under Different Cropping Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

LIST OF FIGURES V

Figure 4.6: Predicted Cumulative C Sequestration for Different Land Management Practices by 2030 . . . . . . 49

Figure 5.1: The Private Marginal Abatement Cost Curves. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

Figure 5.2: Total Private Benefi ts (Blue) and Public Costs (Red) of Land Management Practices (US$, Billion) for the B1 Scenario . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

Figure 5.3: Trade-Offs Between Profi tability and Carbon Sequestration of Sustainable Land Management Technologies in Africa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Figure 5.4: Relationship Between Private Benefi ts and Public Costs in Africa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Figure B.1: FAO Land-Use Map . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

LIST OF FIGURESVI

CARBON SEQUESTRATION IN AGRICULTURAL SOILS

LIST OF PHOTOS

Photo E.1: Terracing and Landscape Management in Bhutan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .xvii

Photo E.2: Crop Residue Management in Irrigated Fields in Indonesia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xx

Photo E.3: Water Management in a Field in India . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxiii

Photo E.4: Maize Growing under Faidherbia Albida Trees in Tanzania . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxiv

Photo E.5: Crop Harvesting in Mali. The Biomass Is Smaller Compared to that of Agroforestry Systems. . . . . .xxv

Photo 3.1: Crop Residue Management in Irrigated Fields in Indonesia . . . . . ....

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