By Caity Petersen
The Central Kalimantan in Indonesia has a dark history of land use and abuse. Upwards of 1.4 million hectares of peat-swamps were cleared and drained there in the mid-1990s, inflicting heavy damage on both the natural environment and the livelihoods of indigenous people living there.
But now the Kalimantan Forests Climate Partnership is reviving the area by way of the largest REDD+ carbon scheme ever implemented in Indonesia. And in doing so has produced a practical guide of dos and don'ts for implementing REDD+ initiatives. The secret to its success: the introduction of strategies that prioritise the livelihoods of local communities as well as emissions reduction.
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by Cecilia Schubert
Why should we care about forests? And in particular, why should smallholder farmers be concerned about deforestation issues? Won't conserving trees compromise food production? According to Barry Gardiner, we shouldn’t. At least not for the trees and bushes' own sake. But we should get involved if we care about justice. And if we care about people.
Developing country rural communities’ well being depend on forests, and forest's products - such as fuel, timber, fruits and nuts, and food for livestock. There are thus many benefits of keeping and maintaining trees, even for farmers.
Trees can also lower the risk of floods and droughts, conserve fertile soils, and provide income when crops fail. These are all adaptation activities that farmers in risk-prone areas can engage themselves in to safeguard food under a changing climate. Read more »
One of the key strategies for curbing greenhouse gas emissions in agricultural landscapes is to protect and enhance the carbon stored in the soil or in trees. Several schemes have developed to reward farmers for good carbon management, where parties may purchase carbon credits produced by farmers to offset their own carbon emissions. However, engaging farmers in such carbon finance schemes is challenging for many reasons, including implementing the various mechanisms for carbon sequestration, dealing with uncertainties surrounding the carbon market, and overcoming information barriers such as language and access to media. This can mean farmers have unclear understanding of risks and develop unrealistic expectations about benefits that carbon schemes can bring. Read more »
Guest blog post by Gabrielle Kissinger, Lexeme Consulting
The CGIAR Climate program recently submitted input to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) of the UNFCCC on the importance of addressing agricultural drivers of deforestation in REDD+ development. Read more »
Guest Blog by Gabrielle Kissinger, Lexeme Consulting
Representatives from research institutions, NGOs, standards organizations, and food commodity roundtables met in San Diego, California in early September in the workshop The Role of Commodity Roundtables & Avoided Forest Conversion in Subnational REDD+ to discuss how we can increase global commodity production while at the same time sparing our carbon-rich forests and peatlands. The FAO predicts the need for a 70 percent increase in food production by 2050. Some researchers have pointed to the need to simply increase food production yields to meet that need, however others site examples of how increased yields make it more economically feasible for farmers to expand their operations further, to the detriment of forests and their carbon storage. Read more »
Many countries that have pledged to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) have formally recognised agriculture as a major driver of land use change. But our research finds that most of these countries do not have detailed plans to deal with agriculture, despite their commitments to REDD. Read more »
As agriculture is increasingly accepted as both a cause of climate change, and as part of the solution, questions arise on how to actually integrate agriculture into climate change policies. At a recent side event at the UN Climate Conference in Bonn, experts from diverse areas including forestry, economic development, agriculture, climate change and food security, shared strategies for mainstreaming climate-smart agriculture into global and national policies. The common message was resounding: agriculture and deforestation are intimately linked, and integrated action across Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) and agriculture is necessary to achieve mitigation and food security outcomes. Read more »
“Agriculture as a driver of deforestation” is one of a very select list of topics that the new UNFCCC REDD+ work program will tackle in Bonn this month. Optimistic visions are that financed actions to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation will benefit not only carbon storage, but also biodiversity, sustainable agriculture and poverty reduction. Experienced practitioners in conservation and development rightly ask whether such idealistic multiple wins are really possible. Read more »
"L'agriculture comme moteur de la déforestation" fait partie de la liste très sélect de sujets auxquels va s’attaquer, ce mois-ci à Bonn, le nouveau programme REDD + de la CCNUCC. Les visions optimistes soutiennent que les actions financées par ce mécanisme dans le but de réduire les émissions résultant du déboisement et des dégradations des forêts, profiteront non seulement le stockage du carbone, mais aussi la biodiversité, l'agriculture durable et la réduction de la pauvreté. Les praticiens expérimentés en matière de conservation et de développement se demandent à juste titre, si ces cas idéalistes á multiples gagnants sont réellement possibles. Read more »
CCAFS Coordinating Unit - University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Rolighedsvej 21, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark, phone +45 35331046; Email ccafs [at] cgiar [dot] org, EAN 5790000279012
Lead Center - International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)