Project period: 2009-2011
The project was a capacity building program to provide developing countries with information, knowledge and awareness of REDD opportunity costs in order to enhance their understanding of the land management aspects of REDD, and strengthen the development and implementation of their REDD strategies.
Production of a training manual on Estimating the Opportunity Costs of REDD+ and training about 250 participants from across Africa and Latin America, mostly policymakers at national level. The manual was recommended for use in all 37 FCPF countries. ASB-ICRAF has subsequently provided support to all REALU countries with Tanzania and Panama already implementing these methodologies at national and sub-national levels.
Countries interested in developing and implementing strategies for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) need to consider a number of important issues, including the opportunity costs of foregoing the conversion of forests into alternative land uses and foregoing some types of forest extraction. Good understanding of opportunity costs – and the factors that shape opportunity costs – is an important element of well-grounded REDD strategies. Large-scale and nationwide assessments of opportunity costs make it possible to generate estimates of the payments that would be needed to provide land users with sufficient incentive to reduce deforestation.
In 2007/8, the ASB partners in Indonesia, Philippines, Cameroon and Peru built on over 10 years of ground level data to complete a detailed study of the opportunity costs of avoided deforestation. This study, perhaps unique in the world, has estimated detailed CO2-e opportunity cost curves for 6 large landscapes in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The interim report on that study, Opportunities for Avoided Deforestation with Sustainable Benefits, was launched at the UNFCCC COP in Bali in December 2007
ASB research has found that most deforestation generates relatively small economic benefits for the damage caused. Avoiding deforestation in the humid tropics can be a cost-effective approach for large reductions in CO2 emissions. With the right policy incentives, mechanisms for encouraging REDD could bring significant benefits to smallholder farmers, to ecosystems, and to the global climate.
To strengthen the ability of developing countries to develop and implement effective strategies for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) within a broad landscape management perspective.
- To develop robust methods and tools for advancing opportunity cost analysis of foregone land use change in forest landscapes, acknowledging and including the wide range of forests and other land use types found in these landscapes
- To support professionals working in relevant national organizations (governmental, university, non-governmental) to understand, adapt and use the analytical methods and interpret the results
- To provide responsible technical and analytical support to national REDD implementation teams.
ASB will refine and adapt the ASB tradeoff and opportunity cost analyses to enable developing countries, especially those involved in the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (WB-FCPF), to conduct comprehensive opportunity cost analyses. ASB will
- Prepare detailed training manuals on how to apply ASB methodologies,
- Convene and lead workshops and/or other kinds of training courses for national researchers involved in REDD readiness efforts,
- Provide responsive technical and analytical support to apply the methods in developing countries engaged in REDD strategy formulation.