Climate Change and Forests

Climate Change and Forests: Emerging Policy and Market Opportunities

Charlotte Streck
Robert O’Sullivan
Toby Janson-Smith
Richard G. Tarasofsky
Copyright Date: 2008
Pages: 346
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7864/j.ctt1262cq
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  • Book Info
    Climate Change and Forests
    Book Description:

    The global climate change problem has finally entered the world's consciousness. While efforts to find a solution have increased momentum, international attention has focused primarily on the industrial and energy sectors. The forest, and land-use sector, however, remains one of the most significant untapped opportunities for carbon mitigation. The expiration of the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period in 2012 presents an opportunity for the international community to put this sector back on the agenda.

    In this timely, wide-ranging volume, an international team of experts explain the links between climate change and forests, highlighting the potential utility of this sector within emerging climate policy frameworks and carbon markets. After framing forestry activities within the larger context of climate-change policy, the contributors analyze the operation and efficacy of market-based mechanisms for forest conservation and climate change. Drawing on experiences from around the world, the authors present concrete recommendations for policymakers, project developers, and market participants. They discuss sequestration rights in Chile, carbon offset programs in Australia and New Zealand, and emerging policy incentives at all levels of the U.S. government. The book also explores the different voluntary schemes for carbon crediting, provides an overview of best practices in carbon accounting, and presents tools for use in future sequestration and offset programs. It concludes with consideration of various incentive options for slowing deforestation and protecting the world's remaining forests.

    Climate Change and Forestsprovides a realistic view of the role that the forest and land-use sector can play in a post-Kyoto regime. It will serve as a practical reference manual for anyone concerned about climate policy, including the negotiators working to define a robust and enduring international framework for addressing climate change.

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-0148-4
    Subjects: Political Science, Environmental Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-xiv)
    DAVID FREESTONE

    I am delighted and honored to have been invited to write a foreword for this excellent and timely work. It is particularly timely because in December 2007, in a historic decision, the parties to the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), meeting in Bali, Indonesia, decided to include the issue of avoided deforestation—or “reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation” (REDD), as it is known in UNFCCC argot—in the Bali Action Plan. This plan is the so-called road map for negotiations that aim to develop by 2009 a legal instrument to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol...

  4. PART ONE INTRODUCTION

    • 1 Climate Change and Forestry: An Introduction
      (pp. 3-10)
      CHARLOTTE STRECK, ROBERT O’SULLIVAN, TOBY JANSON-SMITH and RICHARD TARASOFSKY

      Climate change is one of the most significant global challenges of our time, and addressing it requires the urgent formulation of comprehensive and effective policy responses. A changing climate affects nearly every sector of the world’s economy and is intricately intertwined with other major environmental threats such as population growth, desertification and land degradation, air and water pollution, loss of biodiversity, and deforestation. To date, most of the international attention directed toward combating climate change has been strikingly insufficient and focused primarily on the industrial and energy sectors. The agriculture, forestry, and other land use sector—AFOLU in current climate...

    • 2 The Idea of Market-Based Mechanisms for Forest Conservation and Climate Change
      (pp. 11-30)
      ROSIMEIRY PORTELA, KELLY J. WENDLAND and LAURA LEDWITH PENNYPACKER

      The world has approximately 4 billion hectares of forests, roughly 30 percent of them primary forests.¹ Their provision of goods and services plays an important role in the overall health of the planet and is of fundamental importance to human economy and welfare. These goods and services—collectively called ecosystem goods and services, or simply ecosystem services—include, among other things, food and timber, the formation of soils, the regulation of climate and hydrological processes, and the spiritual, aesthetic, and recreational opportunities associated with people’s enjoyment of nature.²

      Regulating greenhouse gases is one of the most significant ecosystem services provided...

  5. PART TWO THE INTERNATIONAL ARENA

    • 3 History and Context of LULUCF in the Climate Regime
      (pp. 33-42)
      EVELINE TRINES

      The subject of land use, land-use change, and forestry (LULUCF) was introduced in the run-up to the third Conference of the Parties (COP 3) in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, at a very late stage in the negotiations that resulted in the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol. The discussion was hedged with a serious lack of understanding of the subject and a shortage of reliable estimates of existing and potential emissions and removals in the forest sector. This resulted in confusion and opposing positions, and as a result the decisions reached in Kyoto were vague and internally inconsistent. A period of...

    • 4 Risks and Criticisms of Forestry-Based Climate Change Mitigation and Carbon Trading
      (pp. 43-58)
      JOHANNES EBELING

      During the discussions leading up to the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol, the inclusion of forestry-related emissions in the emerging treaty turned out to be one of the most contentious points and lay at the center of many heated and emotional debates. The attention of several nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) remains focused on “carbon forestry,” and the debate is flaring up again in the context of rapidly expanding voluntary carbon markets and the increasing popularity of “carbon offsets.” Proposals aimed at the years after 2012, when the current Kyoto commitment period ends, have also put a spotlight on the land use,...

    • 5 Forest Carbon and Other Ecosystem Services: Synergies between the Rio Conventions
      (pp. 59-70)
      JAN FEHSE

      Sequestering carbon in forests by planting trees and reducing deforestation and forest degradation is an internationally accepted measure used to mitigate climate change. Projects that implement such measures may be awarded tradable “carbon credits.” These carbon sequestration services, however, are not the only services forests can provide. They can simultaneously be harbors for biodiversity, protect watersheds from degradation, and provide natural beauty to local people and visitors.¹ Depending on their design, most carbon forestry projects provide one or more additional services that benefit the local, regional, and in some cases global community. In doing so they can also contribute to...

    • 6 Forestry Projects under the Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation: Rules and Regulations
      (pp. 71-85)
      SEBASTIAN M. SCHOLZ and MARTINA JUNG

      Under the Kyoto Protocol, nearly all industrialized countries and economies in transition (“Annex I countries”) agreed to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to at least 5 percent below the level of 1990. Emissions from a variety of sectors including energy, industry, agriculture, and waste management are taken into account for compliance with Kyoto emission targets. Activities from land use, land-use change, and forestry (LULUCF) make up another category of GHG emissions and removals that also have to be accounted for, at least to a limited extent. Parties agreed on the emission reduction targets of the Kyoto Protocol before they...

    • CASE STUDY: The Humbo Community-Based Natural Regeneration Project, Ethiopia
      (pp. 86-88)
      PAUL DETTMANN, TONY RINAUDO and ASSEFA TOFU

      The Humbo Community-Based Natural Regeneration Project offers an opportunity to combine natural resource management, carbon sequestration, biodiversity, and poverty alleviation. The project is seeking registration as a CDM project activity. In 2005 the World Bank’s Biocarbon Fund indicated interest in purchasing the carbon offsets generated by the project, which was developed and is being implemented by World Vision Ethiopia and Australia (WV), a humanitarian development organization, with the support of the government of Ethiopia. Following is a summary of the project and the key lessons learned to date.

      Project activities include the restoration of indigenous, biodiverse forest species to a...

    • 7 How Renewable Is Bioenergy?
      (pp. 89-104)
      BERNHARD SCHLAMADINGER, SANDRA GREINER, SCOTT SETTELMYER and DAVID NEIL BIRD

      At forty-six exajoules per year, bioenergy constitutes more than 10 percent of global primary energy. Traditional solid biomass fuels (fuelwood, charcoal, dung, and straw) constitute about 80 percent of global biomass use. Lately interest in biofuels and bioenergy has increased significantly as a result of higher fossil fuel prices, concerns about energy security, and the need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to mitigate climate change. The drive to increase bioenergy consumption is raising concerns among nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and in both the mainstream and the alternative press.¹ These concerns are not only that increased use of bioenergy will produce...

  6. PART THREE PRACTICAL EXPERIENCES

    • 8 Design Issues in Clean Development Mechanism Forestry Projects
      (pp. 107-121)
      BRUNO LOCATELLI, LUCIO PEDRONI and ZENIA SALINAS

      The design of an afforestation and reforestation (AR) project under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol is a two-stage process. The first stage includes the definition of a project idea, the evaluation of its eligibility under CDM rules, and preliminary estimations of carbon removals, among other things. The second stage involves the preparation or application of a baseline and monitoring methodology and the production of a Project Design Document (PDD). This second stage must be implemented in strict compliance with the modalities and procedures (M&Ps) of the CDM and any guidance provided by the CDM Executive Board...

    • CASE STUDY: The San Nicolás Project in Colombia
      (pp. 122-124)
      CARMENZA ROBLEDO and PATRICIA TOBÓN

      The San Nicolás Project in Colombia was designed to address the following questions, among others: How can CDM projects improve the living conditions of the rural poor? Are there examples that demonstrate this potential? And what makes a real difference for the rural poor?

      The San Nicolás valleys lie in the northwest of the Antioquia region in Colombia. The region belongs to the area of influence of the Corporación Autónoma Regional de los Rios Negro y Nare, or CORNARE. The region’s strategically important watersheds and hydrological resources have been subject to the construction of two hydropower dams, which generate more...

    • 9 The Permanence Challenge: An Economic Analysis of Temporary Credits
      (pp. 125-134)
      FRANCK LECOCQ and STÉPHANE COUTURE

      Carbon sequestered in biomass or soils may be released accidentally because of fire, windstorms, or other natural hazards or because of conversion of the land to agriculture or pasture. The so-called nonpermanence risk constitutes a fundamental difference between biological sequestration projects and projects that reduce the emission of carbon into the atmosphere. The risk of nonpermanence matters because sequestering carbon temporarily does not have the same effect on global warming as avoiding emissions permanently.

      To deal with the risk of nonpermanence, carbon sequestration through land use, land-use change, and forestry (LULUCF) projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) generates credits...

    • 10 Project-Based Mechanisms: Methodological Approaches for Measuring and Monitoring Carbon Credits
      (pp. 135-147)
      TIMOTHY PEARSON, SARAH WALKER and SANDRA BROWN

      Projects based on land use, land-use change, and forestry (LULUCF), such as afforestation and reforestation (AR) projects, have the ability to produce real, significant, positive carbon effects. However, without scientifically tested and rigorously applied methods for measuring these effects, the actual carbon dioxide emission reductions will not be quantifiable or creditable. Fortunately, widely recognized standards exist for the quantification of land-based carbon credits. The responsibility of a project developer is to understand how these methods can be used to design a measurement plan that maximizes the verifiable, conservatively estimated carbon emission credits while minimizing the resources required for project implementation....

    • 11 Characterizing Sequestration Rights Legally in Chile
      (pp. 148-162)
      DOMINIQUE HERVÉ and EDMUNDO CLARO

      Forestry is an important economic sector in Chile. Tree plantations currently make up 14 percent of forest cover. Although forests are harvested primarily for industrial purposes and firewood, they are also used for animal grazing and are protected for conservation reasons. Since the 1990s the forestry sector’s contribution to GDP has been growing; in 2003 that contribution was 3.4 percent. In economic terms, only the mining and industrial sectors contributed more than the forestry sector.

      In view of this forestry-oriented economy, we analyze in this chapter the legal implications of the development of afforestation and reforestation (AR) projects in Chile...

    • 12 Legal Issues and Contractual Solutions for LULUCF Projects under the Clean Development Mechanism
      (pp. 163-176)
      MONIQUE MILLER, MARTIJN WILDER and ERIC KNIGHT

      Over the past decade, substantial scientific work has been done to enable the relatively accurate modeling of and accounting for greenhouse gases sequestered by land use, land-use change, and forestry (LULUCF) activities. Recognizing that the sequestration of carbon by forestry activities provides a valuable environmental service toward mitigating climate change, organizations have developed voluntary regulatory schemes to assign values to emission reductions arising from LULUCF projects and enable trading in such “LULUCF credits.” As an example, the Kyoto Protocol recognizes that Annex I Parties to the protocol can use emission reductions from carbon sequestered by certain domestic LULUCF activities when...

  7. PART FOUR OUTLOOK:: AVOIDED DEFORESTATION AND THE POST-KYOTO AGENDA

    • 13 Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries: An Introduction
      (pp. 179-190)
      ROBERT O’SULLIVAN

      Deforestation is one of the underlying causes of current levels of atmospheric CO₂ concentration. It has been estimated that about 40 percent of CO₂ emissions over the last 200 years have been from changes in land use and land management, most of which have been deforestation.¹ The remaining forest ecosystems still store an estimated 638 gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon (measured to a soil depth of 30 cm), 283 Gt of which is in the forest biomass alone. This is a significant amount of carbon—more than there is carbon in the atmosphere.²

      Although rates of net deforestation are decreasing because...

    • 14 An Accounting Mechanism for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation of Forests in Developing Countries
      (pp. 191-205)
      DANILO MOLLICONE, SANDRO FEDERICI, FRÉDÉRIC ACHARD, GIACOMO GRASSI, HUGH D. EVA, EDWARD NIR, ERNST-DETLEF SCHULZE and HANS-JÜRGEN STIBIG

      Tropical deforestation is an important issue in the debate over the global carbon cycle and climate change. The release of CO₂ due to tropical deforestation can be estimated from three main parameters: the level of tropical deforestation and degradation, the spatial distribution of forest types, and the amount of biomass and soil carbon for different forest types. Our knowledge of the rates of change of tropical forests and the distribution of forest types has greatly improved in the last few years through the use of earth observation technology. At the same time, more information has become available about carbon stocks...

    • CASE STUDY: Creative Financing and Multisector Partners in Madagascar
      (pp. 206-208)
      JEANNICQ RANDRIANARISOA, BEN VITALE and SONAL PANDYA

      The Ankeneny-Zahamena-Mantadia Biodiversity Conservation Corridor and Restoration Project (“Mantadia”) is situated in the eastern portion of Madagascar, touching on five major protected areas and a forest station. These are Zahamena National Park, the Zahamena Strict Nature Reserve, the Mangerivola Special Reserve, Mantadia National Park, the Analamazaotra Special Reserve (commonly known as Andasibe Reserve), and the Vohimana Forest. The government of Madagascar, working through the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Forests and a network of national and international nonprofit organizations, including Conservation International, formed a partnership to design and launch this forest restoration and conservation project.

      The project consists of three...

    • 15 A Latin American Perspective on Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry Negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
      (pp. 209-222)
      MANUEL ESTRADA PORRUA and ANDREA GARCÍA-GUERRERO

      Our goal in this chapter is to provide some basic elements to facilitate understanding of the dynamics and reasons behind the positions of Latin American countries in the land use, land-use change, and forestry (LULUCF) negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). To this end we present an overview of the negotiation groups involving Latin American countries and a summary of the most relevant positions assumed by them, from negotiations on the inclusion of LULUCF activities in the Kyoto Protocol to current discussions of incentives to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from deforestation in developing countries....

    • CASE STUDY: The Noel Kempff Climate Action Project, Bolivia
      (pp. 223-226)
      JÖRG SEIFERT-GRANZIN

      The Noel Kempff Climate Action Project (NKCAP) is the second largest greenhouse gas emission reduction project developed under the Activity Implemented Jointly program of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Designed by the Nature Conservancy and Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza (FAN Bolivia), NKCAP is mitigating climate change by avoiding degradation caused by industrial logging and small-scale deforestation by slash-and-burn practices. Based on the political commitment of the Bolivian government, the project indemnified the timber concessions adjacent to Noel Kempff Mercado National Park with financial support from three corporate partners—American Electric Power Company, BP America, and...

    • 16 Compensated Reductions: Rewarding Developing Countries for Protecting Forest Carbon
      (pp. 227-236)
      STEPHAN SCHWARTZMAN and PAULO MOUTINHO

      Tropical forests store 200 billion tonnes of carbon (200 petagrams [Pg] C) globally.¹ Deforestation is releasing these stocks into the atmosphere, and both regional and global feedbacks could cause massive carbon emissions, contributing to global warming and the collapse of the ecological equilibrium of tropical forest ecosystems.² In Amazonia, for example, one-third of the forest could be transformed into savanna.³ Although greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are the principal cause of global warming, tropical deforestation causes approximately 18 percent of annual global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO₂).⁴

      A consensus now exists in the international community...

    • 17 Creating Incentives for Avoiding Further Deforestation: The Nested Approach
      (pp. 237-250)
      CHARLOTTE STRECK, LUCIO PEDRONI, MANUEL ESTRADA PORRUA and MICHAEL DUTSCHKE

      Forests are the world’s most important terrestrial storehouses of carbon and play an important role in controlling the climate. Yet in many parts of the world forests are degraded and destroyed to expand agricultural land, gain timber, or clear space for infrastructure or mining. Tropical deforestation has severe consequences for biodiversity. It affects water quality and storage, exacerbates flooding, landslides, and soil erosion, and threatens the livelihoods and cultural integrity of 1.2 billion forest-dependent people. It is also a major contributor to global climate change. About 36 percent of the carbon that was added to the atmosphere between 1850 and...

  8. PART FIVE NATIONAL SYSTEMS AND VOLUNTARY CARBON OFFSETS

    • 18 Legislative Approaches to Forest Sinks in Australia and New Zealand: Working Models for Other Jurisdictions?
      (pp. 253-271)
      KAREN GOULD, MONIQUE MILLER and MARTIJN WILDER

      In this chapter we summarize the approaches taken by Australia and New Zealand, two neighboring countries with historically different views on participation in the Kyoto Protocol, toward regulating and encouraging the creation and trading of carbon commodities from forest sinks.

      Australia and New Zealand have both expended significant thought and effort on the regulation of forest sink activities and have put in place a range of legislation and regulatory frameworks to assist in identifying the legal ownership of sequestered carbon, encourage additional investment in forest sinks, and regulate the trading of carbon commodities from carbon sinks. Their experiences provide a...

    • CASE STUDY: The West Coast Development Trust, a New Zealand Example
      (pp. 272-274)
      SEAN WEAVER

      New Zealand’s West Coast Development Trust shows that when the right economic incentives are in place, forest conservation can compete economically as well as politically with deforestation drivers such as commercial logging. It also shows how funds might be managed in project-based initiatives through the establishment of a trust managed by local community leaders along with donors, local government, business interests, and NGOs.

      In the late 1990s a major public conservation campaign, the West Coast Forests Campaign, was organized by national and local environmental NGOs to protect the biodiversity of 130,000 hectares of indigenous forests on the west coast of...

    • 19 Using Forests and Farms to Combat Climate Change: How Emerging Policies in the United States Promote Land Conservation and Restoration
      (pp. 275-288)
      CATHLEEN KELLY, SARAH WOODHOUSE MURDOCK, JENNIFER MCKNIGHT and REBECCA SKEELE

      Forests, grasslands, and agricultural lands across the United States play an integral role in sequestering carbon dioxide emissions. Estimates for 2005 show that this carbon “sink” absorbs 780 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent each year, equal to approximately 11 percent of 2005 U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, development and other land conversion activities have caused this carbon sink to decrease by more than 14 percent since 1990.¹ Including land-use offset opportunities in U.S. state, regional, and federal market-based GHG emission reduction programs could be an effective way to create incentives to protect and rehabilitate these valuable carbon...

    • CASE STUDY: The Van Eck Forest Management Project in California
      (pp. 289-291)
      MICHELLE PASSERO, RACHAEL KATZ and LAURIE WAYBURN

      The Pacific Forest Trust submitted California’s first greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction project with the California Climate Action Registry (CCAR) on behalf of the Van Eck Forest Foundation in July 2006.¹

      Some 45 percent of California was naturally forested, yet over 40 percent of this was lost to conversion by 1990. Nonetheless, the state is home to highly productive forests with significant carbon stocks and the potential to store carbon for the long term. Indeed, the single most productive forest type in the world, the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) temperate rain forest, can store more carbon than any other. California...

    • 20 Carving a Niche for Forests in the Voluntary Carbon Markets
      (pp. 292-307)
      KATHERINE HAMILTON, RICARDO BAYON and AMANDA HAWN

      The voluntary offsetting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions started as early as 1989, when Applied Energy Services Corporation (AES), an American electricity company, decided to invest in an agroforestry project in Guatemala.¹ With this investment AES wished to offset the GHG emissions of its new cogeneration plant in Uncasville, Connecticut, by paying farmers in Guatemala to plant 52 million pine and eucalyptus trees on their land. AES, like other companies since, invested in the project to reduce its “carbon footprint” for reasons beyond legislation and helped to kick-start the voluntary carbon markets. More than fifteen years later, voluntary carbon markets...

    • CASE STUDY: Reflections on Community-Based Carbon Forestry in Mexico
      (pp. 308-310)
      RICHARD TIPPER

      My involvement in community-based carbon management started one night in 1993 when I was awakened in Edinburgh by a phone call from someone at Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Ecología (INE) informing me that the institute had approved funding to investigate the feasibility of supporting agroforestry and forest restoration in indigenous areas of Chiapas using carbon service payments.

      The idea of using carbon payments for afforestation and forest conservation was then quite new. Some grandiose schemes for massive afforestation programs to balance the global carbon cycle had been postulated, but little had been done to examine the practical issues of how...

    • 21 Developing Forestry Carbon Projects for the Voluntary Carbon Market: A Practical Analysis
      (pp. 311-324)
      MARISA MEIZLISH and DAVID BRAND

      Regulated carbon markets create value through governments’ legislation of emission reduction requirements and definition of market rules. Such regulatory activity creates standardized units of trade and rules regulating, among other things, the creation of offsets that can be sold into the market. In addition to the regulated carbon market, a vibrant voluntary market in carbon offsets has developed. This market includes trade in a myriad of types of offsets, or “carbon credits,” with varying qualities and prices.¹ Whereas the role of forestry carbon in markets established directly under the Kyoto Protocol is limited, significant opportunity exists in the voluntary market...

    • CASE STUDY: Carbon Sequestration in the Sierra Gorda of Mexico
      (pp. 325-328)
      DAVID PATRICK ROSS

      Bosque Sustentable, A.C., a nongovernmental organization working in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve and surrounding areas in eastern central Mexico, signed a contract with the United Nations Foundation in March 2006 for the sale of 5,230 emission removal units (t CO2e). The contract was the culmination of years of hard work, and our experience with the international carbon market during this time highlights the difficulties and opportunities for organizations interested in developing carbon sequestration projects in rural, poor areas.

      The Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve is located in the Sierra Madre Oriental in the northern extreme of the state of Querétaro....

  9. Contributors
    (pp. 329-332)
  10. Index
    (pp. 333-346)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 347-347)