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Exploring Russian Agriculture’s Potential for Food Production, Rural Development, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

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Description

Widespread areas of abandoned agricultural lands are located in Russia. However, it remains largely unstudied whether abandoned lands should be recultivated to ensure stable food supply, particularly considering projections of increasing climatic ensitivity of the southern breadbasket regions in Russia. Little is also known about the potential of regions with large abandoned land areas to sequester carbon (C) in agriculture and in this way counteract the global warming. In our multidisciplinary research project, we examine Russia´s agriculture potential to meet triple challenge: increase food production, foster rural development, and mitigate and adapt to CC. To this end, the project will (i) assess impacts of recent LU changes and technological progress on climatic sensitivity of Russian agriculture and generate updated CC impact projections at the national and regional levels; (ii) model and simulate C sequestration and CO2 emissions for different LU scenarios; (iii) examine economic effectiveness of alternative LU options for selected study regions; and (iv) identify policy measures for increased adoption of sustainable LU practices based on stakeholder involvement and assessment of farmers´ attitudes and preferences.

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