Get the CIFOR publications update

CIFOR publishes over 400 publications every year on forests and climate change, landscape restoration, rights, forest policy, agroforestry and much more in multiple languages.

Evaluating land use and livelihood impacts of early forest carbon projects: Lessons for learning about REDD+

Evaluating land use and livelihood impacts of early forest carbon projects: Lessons for learning about REDD+

The ‘Bali Road Map’ of UNFCCC COP-13 calls for sharing lessons learned from demonstration activities that aim to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation and enhance forest carbon stocks (now known as ‘REDD+’). To develop a feasible yet rigorous strategy for learning from these REDD+ pilots, it is critical to assess previous efforts to evaluate the impacts of ‘pre-REDD+’ avoided deforestation projects. Further, because REDD+ remains a politically volatile issue, with both critics and supporters pointing to the impacts (or lack thereof) of these pre-REDD+ projects, it is important to critically examine the methods employed to assess those impacts. We review the body of literature that makes claims about the socioeconomic and biophysical impacts of pre-REDD+ projects. We find assessments of outcomes or impacts for only five pre-REDD projects. The design, data collection, and analysis methods for understanding the impacts of pre-REDD+ projects frequently lack rigor. In particular, the counterfactual scenarios for establishing socioeconomic impacts are vague, unscientific, or omitted completely. We conclude that drawing specific lessons from pre-REDD+ projects for the design or evaluation of current REDD+ projects is tenuous. Rigorous project evaluations are challenging, expensive, and time-consuming, but because they are so critical for learning about what works for people and forests, evaluations of current REDD+ projects must use improved methods. In particular, much better care should be taken to construct credible – and where possible, consistent – counterfactuals for both biophysical and socioeconomic outcomes.

Authors: Caplow, S.; Jagger, P.; Lawlor, K.; Sills, E.

Topic: REDD, deforestation, impact, evaluation, carbon, conservation, social impact

Publication Year: 2011

ISSN: 1462-9011

Source: Environmental Science and Policy 14(2): 152-167

DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2010.10.003

Altmetric score:

Citation number:

Cited 32 times in crossref.org


Related viewing

Top