This is a brief description of studies that exemplify the methods and approaches that have been developed and used by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) researchers in conducting integrated assessments. See the complete list of Integrated Assessment Briefs to find out more about ORNL's efforts in integrated assessment. Contact Mike Farrell ( for more information.

Land-Use Management for Carbon Sequestration

Mean annual carbon emissions from alternative land-use management options (1991-2001). Notes: For reduction of deforestation rates, recovery is the restoration to carbon levels of undegraded forest. Agroforestry options involve the conversion of 2 or 4% of agricultural land each year sequestering 20% of the carbon of a mature plantation. Industrial reforestation options involve the planting of 0.1% of all land capable of sequestering at least 4 tonnes of carbon each year or the offset of all current industrial wood removals.

That is the magnitude of carbon emissions and the potential for sequestering carbon from alternative land-use management options in SubSaharan Africa?

Current land-based emissions of carbon are of the order of 152 million tonnes each year.

Reducing deforestation by half could lower emissions to 21 million tonnes. Agroforestry, if adopted at a rate of 2 to 4% annually, could reduce annual carbon emissions by about 38 to 66 million tonnes. Offsetting industrial roundwood removals or converting one-tenth of high and medium productivity land back to forest each year could result in the sequestration of about 11 to 18 million tonnes annually.

The direct costs of carbon sequestration are low and are estimated at $3 to $22 per tonne depending on the specific land-use policy.

Perlack, R. D., R. L. Graham, and A. M. Prasad. 1992-93. Land use management and carbon sequestering in SubSaharan Africa. Journal of Environmental Systems 22(3):199-210.

Graham, R. L., R. D. Perlack, A. M. Prasad, J. W. Ranney, and D. B. Waddle. 1990. Greenhouse Gas Emissions in SubSaharan Africa. ORNL-6640. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn.

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Integrated Assessment Briefs. 1995. ORNL/M-4227. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN.