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Community and farm forestry climate mitigation projects: case studies from Uttaranchal, India

Abstract

The methodologies for forest mitigation projects still present challenges to project developers for fulfillment of criteria within the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) or other such mechanisms for the purpose of earning carbon credits. This paper systematically approaches the process of establishing carbon (C) stocks for baseline (BSL) and mitigation scenario (MSL) for two case studies i.e., community and farm forestry projects in Uttaranchal, India. The analysis of various interventions shows that both projects present high carbon mitigation potential. However, the C reversibility risk is lower in long-rotation pine and mixed species plantation on community lands. The project is financially viable though not highly lucrative but the carbon mitigation potential in this ‘restoration of degraded lands’ type of project is immense provided challenges in the initial phase are adequately overcome. C revenue is an essential driver for investors in community projects. The short-rotation timber species such as Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus), Poplar (Populus) have high internal rates of return (IRR) and high carbon benefit reversibility potential due to fluctuations in market prices of commodities produced. The land holdings are small and bundling is desired for projects to achieve economies of scale. The methodological concerns such as sampling intensities, monitoring methodologies, sharing of benefits with communities and bundling arrangements for projects need further research to make these projects viable.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Atmospheric Programs through the US Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. We also thank DG (ICFRE) Mr. R.P.S Katwal and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Forest Department, Uttaranchal for facilitating support for undertaking this study. The authors are grateful to Research Coordinator, Forest Research Institute, Dr. Anil Kumar Hooda, for help with data analysis. Authors are also grateful to Dr. N.H. Ravindranath, Indu Murthi, P. Sudha and Giresh Mohan Joshi for review, discussions and comments and N.C. Kahera and Yogendra Vrihaspati for general logistical assistance in preparation of this report. Disclaimer: The views and opinions of the authors herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Hooda, N., Gera, M., Andrasko, K. et al. Community and farm forestry climate mitigation projects: case studies from Uttaranchal, India. Mitig Adapt Strat Glob Change 12, 1099–1130 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11027-006-9066-1

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Keywords

  • Mitigation
  • Carbon
  • Farm forestry
  • Community forestry
  • Financial feasibility
  • Baseline
  • Additionality