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The increasing scientific consensus on global warming, together with the precautionary principle and the fear of non-linear climate transitions is leading to increasing action to mitigate global warming. To help mitigate global warming, carbon storage by forests is often mentioned as the only or the best way to reduce the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.
This book presents evidence that tropical grasslands, which cover 50% of the earth's surface, are as important as forests for the sequestration of carbon.
Results are reported of a large five year on-farm research project carried out in Latin America (Colombia, Costa Rica). Soil and vegetation carbon stocks of long-established pasture, fodder bank and silvopastoral systems on commercial farms were compared with those of adjacent forest and degraded land. The objective was to identify production systems that both increase livestock productivity and farm income and, at the same time, contribute to a reduction of carbon accumulation in the atmosphere.
The project was carried out in four ecosystems: the Andean hillsides of the semi-evergreen forest in Colombia; the Colombian humid Amazonian tropical forest ecosystem; the sub-humid tropical forest ecosystem on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica; and the humid tropical forest ecosystem on the Atlantic Coast of Costa Rica.