Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2067/43602
Titolo: Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Carbon Sinks of an Italian Natural Park
Autori: Grossi, Giampiero
Vitali, Andrea 
Bernabucci, Umberto 
Lacetera, Nicola 
Nardone, Alessandro
Data pubblicazione: 2021
Natural parks (NPs) have a primary role in supporting people’s welfare by maintaining
natural and cultural resources. Various activities, such as those related to conservation of
flora and fauna, forestry, agriculture and livestock, residential, and tourism, coexist within
the boundaries of NPs. All these activities may contribute as a source or sink of carbon
dioxide and, despite some NPs having started to promote their environmental services,
there is currently a lack of information on their carbon footprint (CF). Although various
international standards have provided guidelines to assess the CF of organizations, a lack
of explicit formulation and procedure in these standards makes them difficult to apply,
especially when the organizations to be evaluated embed a wide range of biological and
anthropogenic activities. The framework proposed in this paper provides for the first time a
holistic methodological approach to quantitatively and qualitatively estimate the annual
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals occurring in NPs. The main data needed
for the NP’s GHG inventory were directly collected on-site. The activity data and emissions
factors as well as the methodologies involved were all referenced to their data sources,
including the use of a biogeochemical model, IPCC equations, Ecoinvent database, and a
literature review. This method highlighted that, by emitting 0.55 Mg CO2e ha−1 year−1
, the
NP generates an annual CF of about 3,300 Mg of CO2e. The agricultural activities with
43.4% of share showed the largest incidence, followed by wild fauna (17.8%), tourism
(15.1%), and, to a lesser extent, all the other sectors considered in the assessment. On the
other hand, when the annual soil and forest C sequestration rates were included in the
balance, the NP contributes to sequester about 3.7 Mg CO2e ha−1 year−1
, thus resulting in
it being an important C-sink site (i.e., about 22,000 Mg CO2e year−1
). By providing granular
information on GHG emissions and carbon removals trend, the methodological approach
involved in this study could help NPs in both planning effective mitigation strategies and
supporting environmental certification processes. CF of NPs could increase tourists’
awareness of the important role that these protected natural areas have in climate
change mitigation and adaptation.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2067/43602
ISSN: 2296-665X
DOI: 10.3389/fenvs.2021.706880
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