Title: Combining Flood Risk Mitigation and Carbon Sequestration to Optimize Sustainable Land Management Schemes: Experiences from the Middle-Section of Hungary’s Tisza River
The record floods experienced along the Tisza River between 1998 and 2001 brought a paradigm shift in infrastructural solutions for flood protection. A flood peak polder system was built for transient water storage without any substantial change in land use in the polders, despite the potential to do so under the new scheme. The recent improvement of quantified flood risk assessment methodologies and stronger foundations for the valuation of carbon sequestration benefits now provide more information on the magnitude of missed opportunities and the potential for comprehensive land use and flood risk management solutions. This paper evaluates and combines the results of three cost-benefit type analyses on the conflicting relations of pursuing flood risk mitigation and land management goals. Although the studies were conducted at different locations of the same river stretch, they are all inspected using the same flood waves. Results assert that as EU-CAP agricultural subsidies stabilize individual benefits from arable land use in the short-run, public benefits and long-term individual benefits fail to reach their potential value. The combined analysis of flood risk change and CO2 sequestration provides the economic rationale for the ecological revitalization along rivers with flood peak polders, helping to solve the conflict between hydrological and ecological objectives in floodplains. Capitalizing the value of the community benefits of forests in terms of CO2 sequestration is limited by the unresolved property rights allocation of this natural capacity between landowners and the state, the latter being responsible for fulfilling international CO2 reduction agreements; this uncertain legal background is an obstacle to the creation of sustainable economic conditions for the development and expansion of beneficial land management processes along rivers.
Full citation: Ungvári, G. (2022). Combining Flood Risk Mitigation and Carbon Sequestration to Optimize Sustainable Land Management Schemes: Experiences from the Middle-Section of Hungary’s Tisza River. Land 11(7):985.
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