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Exploring an emerging land use conflict: GIS based site selection for expanding forests in Denmark
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences. SLU Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The predominant land use in Denmark is agriculture, which has had negative effects on the aquatic environment, bothmarine and freshwater, due to excess nutrient runoff and resulting eutrophication. The current condition does not fullfillthe European Water Framework Directive’s goal of ‘Good ecological condition’ in all aquatic environments. InDenmark, forests only account for a small proportion of the land use, and despite an increase over the past twocenturies, the currently small forested area has had negative consequences for biodiversity since a majority of thespecies in Denmark are dependent on forests for habitat. The current efforts do not meet Denmark’s commitment tofulfill the United Nations Convention on Biological diversity. Similar to other countries, Denmark is obligated to reduceits carbon dioxide emissions according to the Paris agreement, with reduction goals of 40 % in 2030 and 80-95% in2050. The aim of the present thesis, is to assess whether reforestation on agricultural land can ensure that Denmarkreaches the international obligations for water quality and biodiversity at the same time as reducing climate impact byincreasing carbon sequestration, without significant land use conflict between agriculture and forest.This aim is pursued through an analysis of spatial data using a Geographical Information System, where threescenarios are created to assess differences in policy priorities.Based on the result of the spatial analysis, carbon sequestration estimates are calculated to assess the extent towhich forests could contribute to reducing the Danish climate impact, by increasing carbon sequestration. Theparameters used in the spatial analysis were found through a literature review, and the data for the spatial analysis wereaccessed in official and university databases.The main findings of the spatial analysis suggest that the areas with the highest potential agricultural value andthe areas with the highest potential for forest ecosystem services are not overlapping to a significant degree. Thisimplies that the areas that would have the highest levels of trade-offs between these goals when transitioning to forest,can continue the current land use without being needed for reforestation. The areas where agricultural value is low, andwhere reforestation would provide high levels of forest ecosystem services, are best suited for land use change. Theseareas were found to cover a substantial part of the study area, varying depending on three different scenarios, and areestimated to have the potential to contribute greatly to Denmark’s international commitments for water quality andbiodiversity. The carbon sequestration estimates show that if an area of approximately 7 % of Zealand was reforested,the sequestered amounts of carbon dioxide would correspond to a large portion of the emissions reductions necessary tofulfill Denmark’s obligations in the Paris Agreement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 74
Series
Examensarbete vid Institutionen för geovetenskaper, ISSN 1650-6553 ; 2019/31
Keywords [en]
Sustainable Development, Geographic Information Systems, GIS, Ecosystem Services, Land Use Conflict, Carbon Sequestration, Forest, Agriculture
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-387799OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-387799DiVA, id: diva2:1330531
Subject / course
Earth science
Educational program
Master Programme in Sustainable Development
Presentation
, Geocentrum, Villavägen 16, Uppsala (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-06-26 Created: 2019-06-25 Last updated: 2019-06-26Bibliographically approved

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Marc Adam Feinberg Thesis(14358 kB)43 downloads
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