Forests on a cultivated planet

University of Leicester
International Network for Bamboo and Rattan
World Resources Institute

University of Leicester

[Stand No. 11]

Dr Eleanor Milne has worked as an Environmental Scientist for the past 18 years, focusing on issues in tropical and sub-tropical regions. She currently coordinates the modelling component of the GEF's Carbon Benefits Project, which has developed a suite of online tools for land management projects to estimate the C and GHG impacts of their activities (http://carbonbenefitsproject-compa.colostate.edu). Recently, Eleanor carried out a review for CGIAR's Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security research program of 'Methods for the quantification of emissions at the landscape level for developing countries in smallholder contexts'.

Presentation Summary

Working at the landscape level to integrate forests and agriculture: methodological challenges

The landscape approach is seen as crucial in order to integrate forest conservation and food security concerns. However, implementing a landscape approach brings with it many methodological challenges, not least of which is the quantification of emissions at the landscape level. The presentation will define what constitutes a landscape approach and highlight the issues and constraints with current quantification methods, focused especially on smallholder contexts in developing countries. Measurement and modelling techniques will be described, and the key issues moving forward will be identified.

Key questions:

  • What are the main challenges in quantifying greenhouse gases in landscapes with smallholder farmers?
  • What are the main methods that can be recommended, and in what context?
  • What breakthroughs do we need in order to have a useful portfolio of methods?

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International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR)

[Stand No. 12]

Dr Coosje Hoogendoorn was appointed Director General of INBAR in 2006. With its headquarters in China and regional offices in Ecuador, Ghana, Ethiopia and India, INBAR focuses on the role of bamboo and rattan in a 'pro-poor green economy', and on developing sustainable global trading systems which contribute to eradicating poverty and protecting the environment. She studied agriculture and plant genetics at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and has also worked in Colombia, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom and Mexico.

Presentation Summary

Bamboos can grow faster and can be more renewable than most other forest resources. INBAR's studies, however, show that only managed bamboo stands (i.e. selectively harvested) can capitalise on bamboo's advantages of fast-growth and renewability within carbon sequestration schemes, as mature culms are harvested before their decay. Bamboo culms die young, so – after their initial fast growth – un-managed bamboo stands do not sequester high levels of carbon.

With regard to carbon accounting, regular and selective harvest raises the question of what happens with the harvested biomass and the harvested wood products (HWP). To discourage harvest of forest biomass, HWP are often considered to undergo 'instant oxidation'. However, durable wood products – like bamboo floorboards – can have lifespans of several decades during which they store carbon. That means that HWP can represent long-term, but not infinite, carbon sinks – similar to forests. Moreover, the HWP carbon pool can grow, e.g. through substitution processes.

Key questions:

  • Can HWP represent permanent carbon sinks?
  • Should carbon credits be generated for HWP? Can they be traced or monitored?
  • Who should receive HWP carbon credits (producer, consumer, seller or processor)? Who should pay for HWP carbon credits?

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World Resources Institute (WRI)

[Stand No. 13]

Dr Fred Stolle is programme manager for WRI's Forest Landscape Objective, working on forest governance, forest changes and their impacts on climate change, as well as biofuel issues in Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia. Recently, he has been also involved in advising the Indonesian government on the inclusion of reduced deforestation programmes in the UN Climate Framework (UNFCCC). These include several international processes in Asia such as the Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) initiative, the Asian Forest Partnership (AFP), the Roundtable of Sustainable Oil Palm, and the world-wide UN FAO Forest Resources Assessment.

Ms Kemen Austin works in the People and Ecosystems Program at the WRI. Her work focuses on recognising and incorporating the value of ecosystem services, in particular the value of tropical forest ecosystems for climate change mitigation, into land-use decision making. Kemen currently provides guidance and technical support to several projects at WRI that support forest monitoring and low emissions land-use planning in Indonesia, Ethiopia and Colombia.

Presentation Summary

In Indonesia, policy makers and industry leaders are developing policies and practices in support of low-carbon palm oil production on 'degraded land'. Such policies and practices have the potential to enable industry expansion while avoiding greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. They also could contribute to poverty reduction if this expansion follows sustainable planning and management practices, including respect for local peoples' interests and rights. However, whether this potential is achieved will be highly dependent on how new policies and practices address three questions:

  • What is an appropriate definition of 'degraded land' for low-carbon palm oil production?
  • Where are these lands located?
  • How do companies, governments and NGOs determine which of these lands are suitable for sustainable palm oil production?

The World Resources Institute (WRI) and Sekala have produced interactive web tools that are now incorporated by the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil and which are being investigated by the Consumer Goods Forum as part of their zero deforestation pledge.

Key questions:

  • Can there be higher production of crops and lower deforestation
  • How to measure these deforestation and link these to actors of deforestation
  • What does the Indonesian moratorium contribute to these issues

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