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Research Report

Forest carbon for local livelihoods

Center for International Forestry Research
Copyright Date: May. 1, 2000
Pages: 15
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 3-6)

    By incorporating land use change and forestry options, the CDM can work to promote sustainable livelihoods and improve management of forests. 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 net carbon sink gains and cost-effective greenhouse gas reductions can also benefit local people. Forestry experience and pilot projects of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN FCCC) offer lessons that can guide the design of CDM rules and the selection of CDM projects most likely to produce dual positive outcomes....

  2. (pp. 6-7)

    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 even 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 local people...

  3. (pp. 7-12)

    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 may not provide local benefits at all, even though they may still support sustainable development as defined by sovereign governments.

    The Kyoto Protocol provides an opportunity to use land use change and forestry to proactively 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 and help avert some of the risks.


  4. (pp. 12-12)

    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...