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LIFE MEDINET - Mediterranean Network for Reporting Emissions and Removals in Cropland and Grassland

LIFE15 PRE/IT/000001


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Contact details:

Contact person: Tommaso Chiti
Email: tommaso.chiti@unitus.it



Project description:

Background

The Mediterranean climate in the EU includes large parts of Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Malta, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece and Cyprus. It also includes large parts of some countries neighbouring the EU, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania and Turkey. The Mediterranean climate is characterised by the contrast between mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. This type of climate has shaped agriculture in the region, both in terms of the crops that are grown and the management practices applied. Examples of typical crops and croplands in the region include olive groves, vineyards, citrus, carob, fig, almond and other fruit orchards. The mild winter climate also makes the region suitable for the early production of annual crops such as cereals, vegetables, tomatoes and small fruits.

In terms of management systems, the region is characterised both by very low input/extensive systems, including extensive grassland, animal production and agro-forestry systems, and very high input/intensive systems, such as greenhouses and irrigated systems.

These shared characteristics form the background for MediNet, as similar crop and grassland management systems should lead to similar reported emissions and removals across countries. Looking at the current National Inventory Reports from Mediterranean countries, it is clear that the reporting of emissions and removals of croplands and grasslands is still far from the level of transparency, consistency, comparability, completeness and accuracy required by the 2006 IPCC reporting guidelines. The requirements for reporting and accounting imply that all Member States should be reporting on at least tier 2 level (activity data - e.g. deforestation rates and commercial timber harvests - and emission factors obtained from national sources, hence the use of country-defined coefficients for specific regions and specialised land-use categories) for all pools and gases in those categories.

To date, the reality for these countries is one where some pools and gases are not reported at all and, where reported, extensive use of tier 1 (activity data that are roughly estimated, e.g. using national and/or regional estimates and emission factors derived from both national and regional databases) methodologies and emission factors are still the norm. The comparability of methods and emission factors across a region is also very difficult and limited.


Objectives

The LIFE MEDINET project aims to:

  • Compile and systematise existing knowledge and data with relevance for reporting cropland and grassland emissions in Mediterranean conditions, particularly for mineral soil and aboveground biomass of perennial crops;
  • Share experiences and approaches in reporting cropland and grassland emissions in Mediterranean conditions;
  • Explore the possible use of common methods and/or reference data and/or data sets for reporting purposes;
  • Identify information and research gaps; and
  • Enhance the participation and involvement of agriculture stakeholders in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  • To accomplish its objectives, LIFE MEDINET will involve public institutions and universities from different countries in the Mediterranean basin working specifically on themes related to agriculture and emissions and removals reporting. For this purpose, different project actions will involve both those institutions with official responsibility for reporting on cropland and grassland emissions and removals at national level and the institutions/universities working on specific themes related to grassland and cropland management.

  • The MediNet network includes Italy and Portugal as beneficiaries of the project and Spain, Greece, France, Malta, Cyprus, Croatia and Slovenia as stakeholders. Establishment of the network will enable the identification of existing knowledge that can be used for reporting purposes. It will also allow the knowledge to be shared and its potential maximised. The project aims to identify gaps in data at national level and enable the adoption of solutions to fill these gaps from the experience gained by other Mediterranean countries. Its actions will focus on: the diverse methods currently employed to collate data; the activities/pools/gases that are reported; how these data are delivered and processed by the inventory team; and why they are necessary. The project will also identify the different types of cropland and grassland, as well as their management systems relevant for emissions and removals and shared among as many Mediterranean countries as possible.

    This is crucial to enable identification of new and more specific factors related to different management activities for cropland and grassland management in the Mediterranean area. As a result, more accurate, complete and consistent estimates of carbon gain and losses due to emissions and removals from croplands and grasslands will be provided at national level. The sharing of reporting experiences and of specific solutions for reporting will also allow for increased comparability across Mediterranean countries.


    Results

    Expected results:

    • Increased knowledge on the soil organic carbon (SOC) data for at least the top 30 cm (if possible, to a depth of 50 or 100 cm) of mineral soil for different crop/grassland management types from each Mediterranean country involved in MediNet. A database will be created to collect all the information correlating the average SOC content and stock to the different management activities applied on croplands and grasslands;
    • Improved default emission factors in SOC as a result of land management change in croplands and grasslands for use in Mediterranean conditions, to replace the IPCC tier 1 default factors and to increase the number of management practices that are currently used for reporting purposes at national level;/li>
    • Increased knowledge on the contribution to annual emissions and removals from the aboveground biomass of perennial crops and from deadwood. A database will be created to collect all the information and to relate the carbon in the aboveground biomass of perennial crops to the different management activities applied on croplands and grasslands;
    • Creation of a network of stakeholders to be used for monitoring the contribution of agriculture to climate change in the Mediterranean area;
    • More accurate, complete and consistent estimates of carbon gain and losses due to emissions and removals from croplands and grasslands at national level; and
    • Optimisation of the process referred to under the LULUCF Decision 529/2013, whereby EU Member States have to develop national estimation, reporting and validation systems for emissions and removals for cropland and grassland management towards IPCC tier 3 level over time, as well as gradually starting to deliver non-binding annual estimates, by producing reliable, robust and accurate inventory data by 2022.

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Environmental issues addressed:

Themes

Climate change Mitigation - Carbon sequestration
Climate change Mitigation - GHG reduction in non EU ETS sectors


Keywords

climate change mitigation‚  Agriculture‚  monitoring system‚  greenhouse gas‚  biomass energy


Target EU Legislation

  • Climate Change & Energy efficicency
  • Decision 529/2013 - Accounting rules on greenhouse gas emissions and removals resulting from acti ...

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable


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Beneficiaries:

Coordinator University of Tuscia - Department for Innovation in Biological, Agrofood and Forest Systems (DIBAF)
Type of organisation University
Description The Department for Innovation in Biological, Agrofood and Forest Systems (DIBAF) of Tuscia University (UNITUS) in Viterbo, Italy, carries out research and development activities in several fields of forestry and agriculture. It has been involved in studies and research into the impact of agro-forestry activities, while also providing scientific advice and support for agroforestry projects at national and international level.

The university and department also have wide experience in participating in and coordinating several national and EU projects dealing with climate change mitigation and adaptation, with particular focus on sustainable forest management and land-use change and their effects on sinks, sources and fluxes of carbon in the agro-forestry sector, aimed at contributing to EU emissions reduction targets.

The department is also involved in international initiatives such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and national initiatives (e.g. of the Italian ministries of environment and agriculture, and the Italian Committee to Combat Drought and Desertification), with experts involved in the international negotiation process for the Kyoto Protocol and post-2012 regulatory regime since 2001.

Partners Agência Portuguesa do Ambiente, Portugal Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal

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Project reference LIFE15 PRE/IT/000001
Duration 01-APR-2016 to 31-JAN -2018
Total budget 635,584.00 €
EU contribution 376,907.00 €
Project location Lazio(Italia) Norte(Portugal) Centro(Portugal) Lisboa e vale do Tejo(Portugal) Alentejo(Portugal) Algarve(Portugal) Açores(Portugal) Madeira(Portugal)

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Read more:

Leaflet Project's leaflet (Portuguese version)
Leaflet Project's leaflet
Leaflet Project's leaflet (Italian version)
Project web site Project's website
Project web site - 2 Project's Facebook page

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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version