Sustainable agriculture and forest management share a common goal—to balance the economic and cultural needs of humans with protecting the environment.
The Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability is exploring how to reduce the negative environmental impacts of agriculture while maintaining production sufficient to feed the world’s growing population through two areas of research: agricultural greenhouse gas management and nitrogen management.
Over the course of several years, the Technical Working Group on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (T-AGG), led by the Nicholas Institute, synthesized relevant science on how agricultural management could reduce greenhouse gas emissions or enhance carbon sequestration to inform everything from agricultural policy to the design of agricultural carbon offsets protocols.
Building from the T-AGG synthesis, our research on nitrogen management in agriculture provides an updated and more robust analysis of how agricultural management practices can reduce harmful nitrogen losses to the air and water.
On the forestry side, the Nicholas Institute has worked on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) to develop policies and financial support for improved forest management and reduced greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries. Other projects have focused on what opportunities U.S. forests and farms might provide for reducing emissions and how U.S. policies and programs can encourage that.
The Nicholas Institute has also been working with partner organizations and stakeholders to discover new ways to engage large, private forest owners in conservation efforts. Their cooperation increases opportunities for achieving conservation benefits at significant scale.