Special Issue "Advancing Methods and Models for Implementing REDD+ for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (17 December 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. David L. Skole
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Forestry, Michigan State University, USA
2. Global Observatory for Ecosystem Services, Michigan State University, USA
Tel. 517-355-1778
Interests: Remote Sensing applications; spatial analysis; Geographic Information System; carbon measurement; global carbon cycle, climate change; forest carbon MRV; REDD+
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Cheikh Mbow
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Executive Director, International START Secretariat, USA
Interests: carbon measurement; agroforestry; REDD+; developing countries; low carbon land management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue on “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+)” welcomes submissions covering all areas of REDD+ as it applies to national and subnational applications, including measurement and reporting, development of safeguard information systems, community and participatory engagement, national forest monitoring systems, finance, and other aspects of REDD+ across the full spectrum of topic. The Special Issue will include papers that focus on the technical issues associated with measurement and monitoring as well as social and institutional issues associated with governance, benefits sharing, community-based carbon management and other related aspects. Papers related to capacity building are also encouraged.

The importance of forests and forest carbon management in climate change mitigation and adaptation is now well established in both international agreements and national programs. The establishment of the Paris Agreements following the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change has centered forest carbon management as a key element of national and international programs to mitigate climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. REDD+ is the international mechanism under negotiation within the UNFCCC. Its aim is to provide a common platform for climate change mitigation through actions in the forestry and land use sectors. Although (as of this writing) no final binding agreement on an exact structure for REDD+ and protocols for its implementation exist, a significant amount of work has advanced best practices, methods, and protocols for forest carbon measurement and land cover change. This Special Issue creates an opportunity to elaborate best practices and new approaches that can inform the deliberative protocol-setting process.

The scope of REDD+ includes four elements, each of which requires both technical and social models for the measurement and implementation: Reducing emissions from deforestation, reducing emissions from forest degradation, conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable forest management, enhancement of carbon stocks. Each of these scope areas present opportunities for submissions. This Special Issue recognizes that REDD+ in its broadest conceptualization includes management of carbon in areas of forests—both closed forests and woodlands—as well as in landscapes that are predominantly agricultural with systems of trees outside of forests (TOF). The Special Issue is interested in papers that include regions or geographies in which forest and tree dependent communities located in woodland ecosystems and other sparsely treed landscapes, as well as closed high biomass forest areas.

Some example topical areas for consideration are: 

  • Measurement and monitoring of deforestation and forest degradation, including modalities for developing reference emission levels
  • Management of carbon in systems of trees outside of forests and agroforestry
  • Landscape level implementation of REDD+ programs and projects
  • Participatory approaches to community-based carbon measurement and management
  • Forest land restoration: methods, models, and monitoring
  • Forest governance and benefits sharing for low carbon forest management
Prof. Dr. David L. Skole
Dr. Cheikh Mbow
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Reducing Emissions of Deforestation and Forest Degradation
  • REDD+
  • Measurement, reporting and verification
  • Carbon stocks
  • Emissions and removals
  • Deforestation
  • Remote sensing
  • Governance
  • Community based carbon management
  • Social safeguards
  • Forest land restoration
  • Trees outside of forests
  • Agroforestry

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Deforestation and Forest Degradation as an Environmental Behavior: Unpacking Realities Shaping Community Actions
Land 2019, 8(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8020026 - 29 Jan 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Deforestation and forest degradation (D&D) in the tropics have continued unabated and are posing serious threats to forests and the livelihoods of those who depend on forests and forest resources. Smallholder farmers are often implicated in scientific literature and policy documents as important [...] Read more.
Deforestation and forest degradation (D&D) in the tropics have continued unabated and are posing serious threats to forests and the livelihoods of those who depend on forests and forest resources. Smallholder farmers are often implicated in scientific literature and policy documents as important agents of D&D. However, there is scanty information on why smallholders exploit forests and what the key drivers are. We employed behavioral sciences approaches that capture contextual factors, attitudinal factors, and routine practices that shape decisions by smallholder farmers. Data was collected using household surveys and focus group discussions in two case study forests—Menagesha Suba Forest in Ethiopia and Maasai Mau Forest in Kenya. Our findings indicate that factors that forced farmers to engage in D&D were largely contextual, i.e., sociodemographic, production factors constraint, as well as policies and governance issues with some influences of routine practices such as wood extraction for fuelwood and construction. Those factors can be broadly aggregated as necessity-driven, market-driven, and governance-driven. In the forests studied, D&D are largely due to necessity needs and governance challenges. Though most factors are intrinsic to smallholders’ context, the extent and impact on D&D were largely aggravated by factors outside the forest landscape. Therefore, policy efforts to reduce D&D should carefully scrutinize the context, the factors, and the associated enablers to reduce forest losses under varying socioeconomic, biophysical, and resource governance conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Nested Land Uses–Landscapes–Livelihoods Approach to Assess the Real Costs of Land-Use Transitions: Insights from Southeast Asia
Land 2019, 8(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8010011 - 07 Jan 2019
Abstract
Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) is viewed as an effective way to mitigate climate change by compensating stewards of forested areas for minimizing forestland conversion and protecting forest services. Opportunity costs assess the cost of foregone opportunity when preserving the [...] Read more.
Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) is viewed as an effective way to mitigate climate change by compensating stewards of forested areas for minimizing forestland conversion and protecting forest services. Opportunity costs assess the cost of foregone opportunity when preserving the forest instead of investing in an alternative activity or resource use. This paper questions the calculation method of opportunity costs using averaged economic benefits and co-benefits of different land-use transitions. We propose a nested approach to land-use transitions at the interface between landscapes and livelihoods and assessing a wide range of potential socio-ecological costs and benefits. Combining household surveys and focus groups with participatory mapping, we applied the approach in villages of Laos, Vietnam and China positioned along a broad transition trajectory from subsistence shifting cultivation to intensive commercial agriculture. By looking beyond the economics of land use, we highlight important linkages between land-use changes and livelihood differentiation, vulnerability and inequalities. Our results show the importance of addressing the impacts of land-use transitions on a wide range of potential ecological and socioeconomic costs and benefits at multiple levels. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Predicting the Potential Impact of Climate Change on Carbon Stock in Semi-Arid West African Savannas
Land 2018, 7(4), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/land7040124 - 21 Oct 2018
Abstract
West African savannas are experiencing rapid land cover change that threatens biodiversity and affects ecosystem productivity through the loss of habitat and biomass, and carbon emissions into the atmosphere exacerbating climate change effects. Therefore, reducing carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in [...] Read more.
West African savannas are experiencing rapid land cover change that threatens biodiversity and affects ecosystem productivity through the loss of habitat and biomass, and carbon emissions into the atmosphere exacerbating climate change effects. Therefore, reducing carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in these areas is critical in the efforts to combat climate change. For such restorative actions to be successful, they must be grounded on a clear knowledge of the extent to which climate change affects carbon storage in soil and biomass according to different land uses. The current study was undertaken in semi-arid savannas in Dano, southwestern Burkina Faso, with the threefold objective of: (i) identifying the main land use and land cover categories (LULCc) in a watershed; (ii) assessing the carbon stocks (biomass and soil) in the selected LULCc; and (iii) predicting the effects of climate change on the spatial distribution of the carbon stock. Dendrometric data (Diameter at Breast Height (DBH) and height) of woody species and soil samples were measured and collected, respectively, in 43 plots, each measuring 50 × 20 m. Tree biomass carbon stocks were calculated using allometric equations while soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks were measured at two depths (0–20 and 20–50 cm). To assess the impact of climate change on carbon stocks, geographical location records of carbon stocks, remote sensing spectral bands, topographic data, and bioclimatic variables were used. For projections of future climatic conditions, predictions from two climate models (MPI-ESM-MR and HadGEM2-ES) of CMIP5 were used under Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5 and modeling was performed using random forest regression. Results showed that the most dominant LULCc are cropland (37.2%) and tree savannas (35.51%). Carbon stocks in woody biomass were higher in woodland (10.2 ± 6.4 Mg·ha−1) and gallery forests (7.75 ± 4.05 Mg·ha−1), while the lowest values were recorded in shrub savannas (0.9 ± 1.2 Mg·ha−1) and tree savannas (1.6 ± 0.6 Mg·ha−1). The highest SOC stock was recorded in gallery forests (30.2 ± 15.6 Mg·ha−1) and the lowest in the cropland (14.9 ± 5.7 Mg·ha−1). Based on modeling results, it appears clearly that climate change might have an impact on carbon stock at horizon 2070 by decreasing the storage capacity of various land units which are currently suitable. The decrease was more important under HadGEM2-ES (90.0%) and less under MPI-ESM-MR (89.4%). These findings call for smart and sustainable land use management practices in the study area to unlock the potential of these landscapes to sequestering carbon. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Criteria to Confirm Models that Simulate Deforestation and Carbon Disturbance
Land 2018, 7(3), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/land7030105 - 10 Sep 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) recommends the Figure of Merit (FOM) as a possible metric to confirm models that simulate deforestation baselines for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD). The FOM ranges from 0% to 100%, where larger FOMs indicate more-accurate [...] Read more.
The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) recommends the Figure of Merit (FOM) as a possible metric to confirm models that simulate deforestation baselines for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD). The FOM ranges from 0% to 100%, where larger FOMs indicate more-accurate simulations. VCS requires that simulation models achieve a FOM greater than or equal to the percentage deforestation during the calibration period. This article analyses FOM’s mathematical properties and illustrates FOM’s empirical behavior by comparing various models that simulate deforestation and the resulting carbon disturbance in Bolivia during 2010–2014. The Total Operating Characteristic frames FOM’s mathematical properties as a function of the quantity and allocation of simulated deforestation. A leaf graph shows how deforestation’s quantity can be more influential than its allocation when simulating carbon disturbance. Results expose how current versions of the VCS methodologies could conceivably permit models that are less accurate than a random allocation of deforestation, while simultaneously prohibit models that are accurate concerning carbon disturbance. Conclusions give specific recommendations to improve the next version of the VCS methodology concerning three concepts: the simulated deforestation quantity, the required minimum FOM, and the simulated carbon disturbance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Approximating Forest Resource Dynamics in Peninsular Malaysia Using Parametric and Nonparametric Models, and Its Implications for Establishing Forest Reference (Emission) Levels under REDD+
Land 2018, 7(2), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/land7020070 - 05 Jun 2018
Abstract
Forest reference (emission) levels (FREL/FRLs) are baselines for REDD+, and 34 countries have submitted their FREL/FRLs to UNFCCC by January 2018. Most of them used simple historical average without considering the stages of forest transition. This research suggested that the period of calculating [...] Read more.
Forest reference (emission) levels (FREL/FRLs) are baselines for REDD+, and 34 countries have submitted their FREL/FRLs to UNFCCC by January 2018. Most of them used simple historical average without considering the stages of forest transition. This research suggested that the period of calculating FREL/FRLs of simple historical average should be properly chosen if these countries are occupying multiple stages or sub-stages of forest transition. Moreover, as a case study, this research applied both parametric and nonparametric models to approximate forest area dynamics with regard to per capita GDP in Peninsular Malaysia from 1971 to 2016. This research found that, in the case of Peninsular Malaysia, among the parametric models, the biexponential model outperformed the other growth models, while two of the nonparametric models i.e. Friedman local averaging and Nadaraya–Watson kernel smoothing models are the best among all the models on the basis of their RSS, RMSE, and MAE indices. Based on the results of our leave-last-five-out CV, however, the research found that the biexponential and Nadaraya–Watson kernel smoothing models performed best, although the performance of the other two nonparametric models remains unknown. Nonparametric model results indicated that Peninsular Malaysia experienced four sub-stages since 1971 and each sub-stage had different linear trends, yet it still did not reach the turning point of forest transition. This research also found that a linear projection using historical deforestation data when the per capita GDP level reached US$8000 was appropriate for setting FREL/FRLs. Full article
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