Sustainable management of Amazon forest: a win-win for resource utilization and climate mitigation

Small boat on a river in Amazonas.

The project explores how different management strategies affect both gas emissions and the assimilation of trees and nearby soil. Based on the results, we will advocate measures and strategies in communication with local people to enable the introduction of management practices that minimize emissions of methane and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere.

Sustainable logging of the Amazon forest by the local population has proven effective in limiting deforestation. Managed logging of three tree species of economic value at Mamiraua Reserve has decreased illegal destruction of native forest locally by over 25%. Changing management strategies dictates the number of trees and volume extracted, with a new strategy implemented recently, which uses portable sawmills to produce wooden planks on-site and leave the leftovers in the forest. While the three tree species are at the heart of the sustainably logging programme, recent studies highlight that Amazon trees are an atmospheric source and sink of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), the net balance of these gases being tree species-dependent. Therefore, this project investigates how different logging strategies affect CH4 and N2O fluxes from trees and soils with contrasting management strategies, including this new strategy.

We hypothesize that this new strategy stimulates CH4 and N2O production and emission, becoming at atmospheric CH4 and N2O burden. Instead, the waste leftovers in the forest should be used for the benefit of local communities. Therefore, we will evaluate the potential of tree waste leftovers for biogas and biofertilizer production. By integrating community engagement we aim to promote and facilitate adopting management practices that minimize CH4 and N2O emissions and potentially offer economic gain through energy recovery from waste – a climate win-win.

The project is financed by Formas.

The Research Group