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Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1610; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051610

Soil Organic Carbon Baselines for Land Degradation Neutrality: Map Accuracy and Cost Tradeoffs with Respect to Complexity in Otjozondjupa, Namibia

1
International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Nairobi 823-00621, Kenya
2
Department of Soil and Environment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Box 234, SE-532 23 Skara, Sweden
3
ISRIC—World Soil Information, P.O. Box 353, 6700 AJ Wageningen, The Netherlands
4
Windhoek Research Data Analysis Consultants, Windhoek 86767, Namibia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 April 2018 / Revised: 13 May 2018 / Accepted: 14 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Degradation and Sustainable Management of Land)
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Abstract

Recent estimates show that one third of the world’s land and water resources are highly or moderately degraded. Global economic losses from land degradation (LD) are as high as USD $10.6 trillion annually. These trends catalyzed a call for avoiding future LD, reducing ongoing LD, and reversing past LD, which has culminated in the adoption of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 15.3 which aims to achieve global land degradation neutrality (LDN) by 2030. The political momentum and increased body of scientific literature have led to calls for a ‘new science of LDN’ and highlighted the practical challenges of implementing LDN. The aim of the present study was to derive LDN soil organic carbon (SOC) stock baseline maps by comparing different digital soil mapping (DSM) methods and sampling densities in a case study (Otjozondjupa, Namibia) and evaluate each approach with respect to complexity, cost, and map accuracy. The mean absolute error (MAE) leveled off after 100 samples were included in the DSM models resulting in a cost tradeoff for additional soil sample collection. If capacity is sufficient, the random forest DSM method out-performed other methods, but the improvement from using this more complex method compared to interpolating the soil sample data by ordinary kriging was minimal. The lessons learned while developing the Otjozondjupa LDN SOC baseline provide valuable insights for others who are responsible for developing LDN baselines elsewhere. View Full-Text
Keywords: land degradation neutrality; sampling density; map accuracy; method complexity; soil organic carbon; Namibia land degradation neutrality; sampling density; map accuracy; method complexity; soil organic carbon; Namibia
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material

  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7910/DVN/FA3ZJS
    Link: https://cgspace.cgiar.org/handle/10568/80090
    Description: Nijbroek, Ravic; Mutua, John; Söderström, Mats; Piikki, Kristin; Kempen, Bas; Hengari, Simeon, 2017, "Pilot Project Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN), Namibia: Establishment of a baseline for land degradation in the region of Otjozondjupa"
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Nijbroek, R.; Piikki, K.; Söderström, M.; Kempen, B.; Turner, K.G.; Hengari, S.; Mutua, J. Soil Organic Carbon Baselines for Land Degradation Neutrality: Map Accuracy and Cost Tradeoffs with Respect to Complexity in Otjozondjupa, Namibia. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1610.

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