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Including GHG emissions from mangrove forests LULUC in LCA: a case study on shrimp farming in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. WorldFish, Malaysia.
Number of Authors: 32018 (English)In: The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, ISSN 0948-3349, E-ISSN 1614-7502, Vol. 23, no 5, p. 1078-1090Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Mangrove forests have been recognized as important regulators of greenhouse gases (GHGs), yet the resulting land use and land-use change (LULUC) emissions have rarely been accounted for in life cycle assessment (LCA) studies. The present study therefore presents up-to-date estimates for GHG emissions from mangrove LULUC and applies them to a case study of shrimp farming in Vietnam. To estimate the global warming impacts of mangrove LULUC, a combination of the International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines, the Net Committed Emissions, and the Missed Potential Carbon Sink method were used. A literature review was then conducted to characterize the most critical parameters for calculating carbon losses, missed sequestration, methane fluxes, and dinitrogen monoxide emissions. Our estimated LUC emissions from mangrove deforestation resulted in 124 t CO2 ha(-1) year(-1), assuming IPCC's recommendations of 1 m of soil loss, and 96% carbon oxidation. In addition to this, 1.25 t of carbon would no longer be sequestered annually. Discounted over 20 years, this resulted in total LULUC emissions of 129 t CO2 ha(-1) year(-1) (CV = 0.441, lognormal distribution (ln)). Shrimp farms in the Mekong Delta, however, can today operate for 50 years or more, but are 1.5 m deep (50% oxidation). In addition to this, Asian tiger shrimp farming in mixed mangrove concurrent farms (the only type of shrimp farm that resulted in mangrove deforestation since 2000 in our case study) resulted in 533 kg methane and 1.67 kg dinitrogen monoxide per hectare annually. Consequently, the LULUC GHG emissions resulted in 184 and 282 t CO2-eq t(-1) live shrimp at farm gate, using mass and economic allocation, respectively. These GHG emissions are about an order of magnitude higher than from semi-intensive or intensive shrimp farming systems. Limitations in data quality and quantity also led us to quantify the uncertainties around our emission estimates, resulting in a CV of between 0.4 and 0.5. Our results reinforce the urgency of conserving mangrove forests and the need to quantify uncertainties around LULUC emissions. It also questions mixed mangrove concurrent shrimp farming, where partial removal of mangrove forests is endorsed based upon the benefits of partial mangrove conservation and maintenance of certain ecosystem services. While we recognize that these activities limit the chances of complete removal, our estimates show that large GHG emissions from mangrove LULUC question the sustainability of this type of shrimp farming, especially since mixed mangrove farming only provide 5% of all farmed shrimp produced in Vietnam.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 23, no 5, p. 1078-1090
Keywords [en]
Aquaculture, Carbon footprint, Deforestation, Land use, Land-use change, LCA, Mangrove, Shrimp, Vietnam
National Category
Environmental Engineering Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-156650DOI: 10.1007/s11367-017-1332-9ISI: 000430196000009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-156650DiVA, id: diva2:1213936
Available from: 2018-06-05 Created: 2018-06-05 Last updated: 2018-06-05Bibliographically approved

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Henriksson, Patrik J. G.
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