The CLAND ‘convergence institute’ (http://cland.lsce.ipsl.fr/) gathers 12 research groups from the Paris-Saclay cluster aiming at providing an integrated assessment of a wide range of land-based solutions for managing the ecological and energy transitions of the 21st century. The interdisciplinary scientific challenge behind CLAND is to integrate state-of-the art research in modelling climate change, food and fibre production,
biodiversity dynamics, ecosystem functioning and land-use socio-economics, and associate this with data syntheses to understand key feedbacks and assess risks and sustainable options for integrated management of land ecosystems.
CLAND recently received funding for 10 years under the ‘Big Investment Plan’ launched by the French government, and is structured around 3 main flagship programmes centered on land-based climate mitigation, adapdation to climate change, and global integration of climate and land-use systems and policies.
As part of one of the CLAND flagship programmes, this PhD project will focus on the environmental and ecological impacts of land-based mitigation (LM) measures developed to reduce the negative effects of agriculture and forestry on climate change or create GHG sinks (e.g., conservation agriculture, agroforestry). Although many types of mitigation measures exist, most of the literature reviews have focused so far on a
limited number of LMs and, in many cases, these LMs are often only qualitatively assessed. We are currently lacking of quantitative syntheses assessing the efficiencies of single LM and of combinations of LMs, especially when these measures are deployed at a scale relevant to reach climate-related policy targets.
The first objective of the proposed PhD project consists of mapping the current scientific evidence on the environmental consequences of large range of land-based mitigation measures, and gaining new insight into aspects that have only been partially assessed so far, from a methodological as well as practical perspective.
The following assessment criteria will be taken on board: water and nutrient demands and limitations, air quality, soil quality and erosion, water quality, biodiversity and ecosystem services. The review of evidence will involve a wide panel of mitigation measures, including enhanced soil carbon sequestration, conservation agriculture, agroforestry, the recycling of organic waste in agriculture, bioenergy production, forest management and land-use changes (eg, afforestation or land sparing strategies). Major knowledge gaps will be identified at this stage.
The second objective is to conduct an in-depth assessment of a restricted set of LMs identified as potentially highly efficient. Quantitative and qualitative approaches will be carried out to synthetize available data found in the literature, in-house data, and expertise from the CLAND teams via meta-analyses or other suitable statistical approaches. The best LMs will be selected and their benefits at large scales will be evaluated in two case studies of the CLAND project, involving France/Western Europe and China, considering a range of future climate and land management scenarios.