Africa is a region highly vulnerable to climatic change due to both ecological and socio-economic factors; however it is the least well-covered region by studies on climate change. For these reasons, the overarching goal of this project is to set up a firs t attempt of a GHG fluxes monitoring network of Africa, in order to quantify, understand and predict, by a multi-disciplinary integrated approach, GHG emissions in Sub-Saharan Africa and its associated spatial and temporal variability. We will start building on the state of the art of the carbon studies in Africa, filling the gaps of knowledge, and then we will utilize and expand existing carbon observing systems, together with the establishment of new infrastructures, improving the required monitoring systems. We also conduct specific regional studies in key areas, considering both carbon sources and sinks.
The components of the African greenhouse gas budget have so far not been adequately determined, and the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol requirements is far to be achieved. There is consequently a significant need for an assessment of the current land use change, evaluating the potential for carbon sequestration in Sub-Saharan Africa in the context of the Kyoto Protocol. The existing GHG observations capabilities for fluxes and stocks of carbon, their geographical distribution, the end users requirements for UNFCCC and IPCC guidelines implementation, will be used to design an optimal monitoring system network and the identification of its components.
The CARBOAFRICA network will contribute to the enhancement of an Earth observations system, strengthening the capacity of Europe to understand global change process. The scientific and technological results, in addition to the capacity building activities foreseen by this project, will promote the integration of the environmental dimension in the social and economic context, supporting Sub-Saharan African countries on the path of a sustainable development.
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