Agriculture, Forests and Rights are key ingredients to reducing emissions
Being one of the major drivers of deforestation, there is wide consensus that agriculture will largely determine success on efforts to reduce carbon emission levels. Despite this recognition, even in countries’ preparation proposals to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+), there is no explicit plan on how to tackle the issue. Same case goes for community property ownership and tenure rights, factors that evidence has shown are inherent to the effectiveness of REDD+ and any such climate change interventions.
One of ASB’s flagship projects –Reducing Emissions from All Land Uses (REALU), continues to demonstrate how these issues can well be tackled within a wider scope that extends focus beyond forests to other land uses in the landscape, and other partners are adding voice to the REALU approach. Recently, Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) released a brief that details how REDD country designs can be more realistic and effective if they adapted the REALU framework by harmonizing agriculture and forest strategies.
Foremost, the brief explains that the type of agriculture practiced around a forest area, type of land users and the long-term agricultural drivers of land use change should inform an effective REDD design. For example, financial incentives for opportunity costs of avoided deforestation will only be effective with farmers whose land uses are of lower value than the carbon prices. It may prove difficult to involve large-scale farmers generating much higher profits from farming than from what REDD offers.
This need to be accompanied by spatial analysis to determine land use across the landscape so interventions focus on areas that maximize benefits to farmers, foresters and the ecosystem. Emphasis is also laid on the need to secure tenure rights for farmer and forest communities. “With a secure rights base, foresters and farmers are known to be innovative, practical and flexible,” the brief points out. These are necessary factors for climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Another recommendation from the RRI brief is that carbon emission monitoring should extend beyond the forest cover because emissions from agricultural intensification -intensive soil tillage, nitrogen fertilizer and animal waste- can make a forest focus approach counterproductive.
To ensure that agriculture lifts off pressure from forests, it is prudent to link REDD+ finance with agriculture finance so that more funds are directed to interventions that promote agricultural productivity without having to extend farmland.
|Title||Making REAL(U) Right: Harmonizing Agriculture, Forests and Rights in the Design of REDD+.|
|Publication Type||Policy Brief|
|Authors||Scherr, S.J.; Shames, S.; Wallace, C.; Hatcher, J.; White, A.; Minang, P.|
|Publisher||EcoAgriculture Partners, Rights and Resources Initiative, ICRAF - ASB|
|Year of Publication||2011|
|Abstract||Global attention to Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanisms provides an opportunity for climate protection and enhancing the livelihoods of farming and forest communities. It has become increasingly apparent that an understanding of the agricultural context of REDD+ projects is critical to success. This brief shines some light on the key REDD+, agriculture and rights linkages that require deeper thinking and presents policy recommendations on how to address and advance mutually reinforcing climate goals.|
|Keywords||Agriculture, ASB, carbon, Degradation, forest, GHC, land use, policy, REALU, REDD+|
|URL||http://www.asb.cgiar.org/PDFwebdocs/Making REALU right.pdf|