Carbon Sequestration in Community Forests: Trade-offs, Multiple Outcomes and Institutional Diversity in the Bolivian Amazon

Carbon Sequestration in Community Forests: Trade-offs, Multiple Outcomes and Institutional Diversity in the Bolivian Amazon
Año : 2014
Autor/es : Jean Paul Benavides, Patrick Bottazzi, David Crespo, Harry Soria, Hy Dao, Marcelo Serrudo, Stefan Schwarzer, Stephan Rist

Carbon Sequestration in Community Forests: Trade-offs, Multiple Outcomes and Institutional Diversity in the Bolivian Amazon

Carbon sequestration in community forests presents a major challenge for the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) programme. This article uses a comparative analysis of the agricultural and forestry practices of indigenous peoples and settlers in the Bolivian Amazon to show how community-level institutions regulate the trade-offs between community livelihoods, forest species diversity, and carbon sequestration. The authors argue that REDD+ implementation in such areas runs the risk of: 1) reinforcing economic inequalities based on previous and potential land use impacts on ecosystems (baseline), depending on the socio-cultural groups targeted; 2) increasing pressure on land used for food production, possibly reducing food security and redirecting labour towards scarce off-farm income opportunities; 3) increasing dependence on external funding and carbon market fluctuations instead of local production strategies; and 4) further incentivising the privatization and commodification of land to avoid transaction costs associated with collective property rights. The article also advises against taking a strictly economic, market-based approach to carbon sequestration, arguing that such an approach could endanger fragile socio-ecological systems. REDD+ schemes should directly support existing efforts towards forest sustainability rather than simply compensating local land users for avoiding deforestation and forest degradation.

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