Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation ― a key goal of international climate policy known as REDD+ ― can lead to lost opportunities for local communities who depend on forest resources for their livelihoods. An analysis based on a case study for Tanzania, published online in Nature Climate Change, shows that it is possible to conserve forests, and avoid carbon leakage through forest displacement, while also protecting people’s livelihoods
Brendan Fisher and co-workers suggest that although this approach to the international climate policy REDD+ would be expensive compared with conventional estimates ― at around US$12 per tonne of carbon dioxide ― it could still be cost competitive relative to other mitigation measures. The team compared the carbon losses from deforestation in Tanzania with the opportunity costs of carbon conservation, and also investigated the implementation costs of alleviating the demand for forest conversion to agriculture and for charcoal.
In an accompanying News & Views, Luca Tacconi says this “is a new direction for both scientific and policy-related research on the implementation of REDD+”.