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Forests 2016, 7(1), 24; doi:10.3390/f7010024

Exploring Opportunities for Promoting Synergies between Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Forest Carbon Initiatives

1
C/o CIFOR P.O. Box 2008, Messa, Yaoundé 237, Cameroon
2
Viikki Tropical Resources Institute, Department of Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki, Latokartanonkaari 7, P.O. Box 27, Helsinki 00014, Finland
Independent Consultant.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mark E. Harmon
Received: 25 August 2015 / Revised: 26 November 2015 / Accepted: 1 December 2015 / Published: 15 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Collection Forests Carbon Fluxes and Sequestration)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [666 KB, uploaded 15 January 2016]

Abstract

There is growing interest in designing and implementing climate change mitigation and adaptation (M + A) in synergy in the forest and land use sectors. However, there is limited knowledge on how the planning and promotion of synergies between M + A can be operationalized in the current efforts to mitigate climate change through forest carbon. This paper contributes to fill this knowledge gap by exploring ways of planning and promoting M + A synergy outcomes in forest carbon initiatives. It examines eight guidelines that are widely used in designing and implementing forest carbon initiatives. Four guiding principles with a number of criteria that are relevant for planning synergy outcomes in forest carbon activities are proposed. The guidelines for developing forest carbon initiatives need to demonstrate that (1) the health of forest ecosystems is maintained or enhanced; (2) the adaptive capacity of forest-dependent communities is ensured; (3) carbon and adaptation benefits are monitored and verified; and (4) adaptation outcomes are anticipated and planned in forest carbon initiatives. The forest carbon project development guidelines can encourage the integration of adaptation in forest carbon initiatives. However, their current efforts guiding projects and programs to deliver biodiversity and environmental benefits, ecosystem services, and socioeconomic benefits are not considered explicitly as efforts towards enhancing adaptation. An approach for incentivizing and motivating project developers, guideline setters, and offset buyers is imperative in order to enable existing guidelines to make clear contributions to adaptation goals. We highlight and discuss potential ways of incentivizing and motivating the explicit planning and promotion of adaptation outcomes in forest carbon initiatives. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest carbon; mitigation; adaptation; synergy; biodiversity and social benefits; carbon stocks sustainability forest carbon; mitigation; adaptation; synergy; biodiversity and social benefits; carbon stocks sustainability
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Chia, E.L.; Fobissie, K.; Kanninen, M. Exploring Opportunities for Promoting Synergies between Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Forest Carbon Initiatives. Forests 2016, 7, 24.

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