Thinking beyond the canopy

Enhancing the role of forests in mitigating climate change

CIFOR's research helps to identify effective methods for measuring and monitoring reduced carbon emissions from avoided deforestation and forest degradation.

Changing land use due to deforestation is a significant source of carbon emissions and a contributor to global warming. Deforestation releases more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the world's fuel-hungry transport sector. Emissions from deforestation in Brazil and Indonesia alone equal the combined carbon-reduction commitments of all Annex 1 countries during the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. Finding ways to maintain terrestrial carbon pools and reduce carbon emissions from land use changes will be a key element of future negotiations within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

We need to ensure that schemes for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) are central to any future climate regime. At the same time, we need to reinforce measures aimed at expanding forest carbon pools through the sustainable management of forests and peatlands.

Our goal is to ensure that the international post-2012 climate regime and national-level REDD schemes are efficient, equitable and provide benefits to affected communities in developing countries. Within four years, CIFOR's research will have informed negotiations towards a global REDD regime and influenced national-level REDD policies and strategies in at least five countries.

Research themes

  • Developing procedures and best practices for estimating and managing carbon stocks in tropical forest landscapes
  • Identifying policies, governance conditions and payment mechanisms that lead to effective implementation of REDD schemes
  • Understanding the political economy and barriers to adoption of policies for efficient, effective and equitable REDD regimes

Framework proposal

Climate change mitigation
Avoiding deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing forests carbon stock

Download framework proposal (PDF, 2.5MB)

More information

Domain leader: Research theme leader: Mitigating climate change
Louis Verchot

CIFOR'S Strategy 2008-2018: A summary
Key features of CIFOR's strategy for the decade 2008-2018. To learn more about CIFOR's strategic directions and to read the full document visits

Current projects: Mitigating climate change
Locations, project duration, donors, and objectives for current projects within this research theme.