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Research Report

Capturing the value of forest carbon for local livelihoods

Center for International Forestry Research
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2000
Pages: 20
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 2-3)

    THE LANDMARK DECISIONS taken at Kyoto in 1997 paved the way to an intergovernmental climate change agreement that will commit industrialized countries to lowering their greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent, compared with that of 1990 levels, by 2008-2012. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol, allows industrialized countries to meet a part of their commitments by funding projects that reduce net emissions of greenhouse gases in countries that do not have emission reduction commitments. This offers the potential for international financial and technological transfers that support greenhouse gas reduction activities in developing countries. The CDM will also...

  2. (pp. 4-5)

    FORESTRY PROJECTS can help to lower net greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere in several ways. The first is to prevent the carbon stored in standing forests from being released into the atmosphere. This could be achieved by reducing deforestation and forest fires or by improving forest management practices (such as reduced-impact logging) that reduce damage to the surrounding vegetation. The second is to actively increase carbon stocks (known as carbon sequestration) through tree planting, improved soil management or by enhancing natural regeneration of degraded forest lands. Another approach is to reduce the combustion of fossil fuels by increasing the...

  3. (pp. 5-8)

    BY INCORPORATING land use change and forestry options, the CDM can work to promote sustainable livelihoods and improve forest management. While the degree to which CDM projects contribute to local livelihoods will be variable, in many cases they can be implemented so that activities leading to cost-effective greenhouse gas reductions can also benefit local people. The following are opportunities that would be possible as a result of the inclusion of forestry and land use change projects in the CDM.

    The sustainable development clause of the CDM provides an opportunity for improving local livelihoods because poverty alleviation is included in the...

  4. (pp. 8-9)

    DESPITE THE CONSIDERABLE potential for using CDM projects to benefit local livelihoods, there is a risk that some projects will not lead to positive effects, and may in some cases threaten the interests of poor people in project areas.

    In some cases, forest carbon projects involving large-scale land use change may lead to restricted access to land that previously made an important contribution to local livelihoods. Biodiversity conservation projects that forbid harvesting of forest products, for example, may curtail locally important sources of forest products or income. Where forestland is converted from production to conservation use, jobs formerly held by...

  5. (pp. 9-14)

    ALTHOUGH WELL DESIGNED CDM land-use change and forestry projects are likely to have positive effects on local livelihoods in most cases, the extent of impact inevitably will vary. Some CDM projects will meet sustainable development criteria established by sovereign governments, and not provide significant livelihood benefits.

    The Kyoto Protocol provides an opportunity to use land-use change and forestry to pro-actively pursue the dual objectives of sustainable development and reduced emissions of greenhouse gases. Several measures could increase the probability of favorable outcomes for local livelihoods, help avert some of the risks, and make it simpler and more attractive for investors...

  6. (pp. 14-14)

    LAND-USE CHANGE and forestry projects with significant livelihood benefits are both possible and desirable in efforts to achieve the dual goals of the CDM, climate change mitigation and sustainable development. Therefore, concerns about livelihood impacts should not prevent forest carbon projects from being included in the CDM. Indeed, although the extent to which projects can support sustainable development and local livelihoods will vary, the potential to achieve positive impacts is considerable.

    Clearly, CDM land use change and forestry projects are not a solution for poverty, given the magnitude of needs in developing countries. Nonetheless, they can be designed and managed...