See Natural Resource Management Domain

Climate change mitigation in forest ecosystems

Climate change mitigation - 5 ects

1. Basic information

The greenhouse effects and the carbon cycle, in particular carbon emissions and carbon sequestration, are at the heart of climate change, one of the most pressing problems the earth is facing. Global instruments like the UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol and IPCC all address these, resulting in an explicit link with the International Environmental Agenda. The accurate quantification of the various components in the carbon cycle forms a core need for its assessment, monitoring, modelling. The mitigation of adverse climate effects and, in the end, sustainability of livelihoods in many parts of the earth are key issues for many decision makers. This requires identification, analysis and development of policy instruments in order to handle the impacts of the foreseeable changes in the carbon cycle. Within the carbon cycle, forestry in the broad sense forms the principal scientific area for research including both emissions (sources) and sequestration (sinks). Afforestation, reforestation and deforestation are the current Kyoto focal areas, but sustainable forest management, including certification, and the assessment and prevention of forest degradation may well be considered in the so-called post-Kyoto period (see e.g., the proposal on Reducing Emission from Deforestation and forest Degradation, REDD). Due to size, inaccessibility of the forest resources, and international requirements for a uniform methodology, quantification of the carbon cycle components in both space and time leans heavily on remote sensing, GIS modeling and related statistical tools.

2. General information

The course is part of the internet based programme ‘GIS and Earth Observation for Environmental modeling and Natural resource management’ (iGEON). The course is an elective course for the double degree: Master of Science in Geographical Information Science and Earth Observation, University of Twente, Faculty ITC, the Netherlands and Master of Science in Geographical Information Science of Lund University, Sweden. The course is also given as a single subject course. The language of instruction is English. The course is fully based on distance learning, with all material distributed over the Internet. It is flexible in the sense that students can study full time (100%), half time (50%), or with a 25% study tempo.

The course is also a full time on-campus elective course for a Master of Science degree in Geographical Information Science and Earth Observation, University of Twente, Faculty ITC, Department of Natural Resources, the Netherlands.

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