Miombo woodlands and REDD+ | Evidence-Based Forestry

Miombo woodlands and REDD+

How has land use and cover change influenced carbon stocks of the miombo woodlands since the 1950s?: A systematic review.

Lead reviewer: Davison Gumbo, CIFOR Zambia
Collaborating institutions: Center for International Forestry Research

Systematic review protocol: Environmental Evidence 2014, 3:25.

Most nascent REDD+ initiatives have focused on tropical moist forests, with much less attention paid to the potential for reducing emissions from, and increasing carbon storage in, dry forests and woodlands. Although these systems support a much lower and more variable woody biomass per unit area (about 6 Kg/m2 compared to 10-18 Kg/m2), they are more widespread than tropical moist forests. This is especially so in Africa where land supporting or capable of supporting dry forests and woodlands cover more than 11 million Km2, in contrast to the 4 million Km2 moist tropical forests and forest-grassland mosaic. When other benefits of protection, such as support to local livelihoods and biodiversity conservation, are taken into account, a case can be made for extending REDD+ schemes to such areas. The Miombo woodlands is composed of such vegetation types that may be incorporated into REDD+ programmes.  Thus our review will examine the contribution of the Miombo woodlands to carbon emissions and sequestration by examining how carbon stocks in phytobiomass and soil have changed under different land use practices. We will examine the evidence from a range of studies done in the region since the 1950s, and we will focus our review around two main questions: i) How has wood biomass change concomitantly impacted on carbon stock and fluxes of the Miombo woodlands since the 1950s? ii) How do different carbon measurement models impact upon the ability to draw robust recommendations on the state of carbon stocks and emission levels in the Miombo woodlands?

The burden faced by rural households walking long distances for water and health care makes the lure of any large-scale investment in the name of development too attractive to turn down.

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