Can Forest-protection carbon projects improve rural livelihoods? Analysis of the Noel Kempff Mercado climate action project, Bolivia

  • Nigel M. Asquith
  • María Teresa Vargas Ríos
  • Joyotee Smith


We studied the Noel KempffMercado Climate Action Project (NKMCAP),Bolivia, to assess whether forestprotection carbon (C) projects cansignificantly benefit local people. Wehypothesized that forest protection canonly securely deliver C if significantstakeholders are meaningfully andtransparently involved, traditional orcustomary rights are recognized and theirloss compensated for, and there are directlinkages between conservation anddevelopment objective. Our researchfocused on 53 members of the communities ofFlorida, Porvenir and Piso Firme and 36secondary stakeholders. In each of thevillages we held half-day meetings withcommunity leaders, complemented bysemi-structured one-hour interviews with 5,10, and 7 families, representing 20%, 10%and 8% of each community. The long-termimpact of the NKMCAP on the localcommunities may well be positive. However,in the short run, certain sections of thelocal communities are financially poorer. Forest protection projects clearly have thepotential to sequester C, protectbiodiversity and simultaneously contributeto sustainable rural development, but ifthey really are to improve rurallivelihoods, they must be designed andimplemented carefully and participatively.

carbon and development links clean development mechanism forest carbon conservation integrated conservation and development projects rapid rural appraisal stakeholder participation sustainable rural development 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nigel M. Asquith
    • 1
  • María Teresa Vargas Ríos
    • 2
  • Joyotee Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for International Forestry ResearchJakartaIndonesia
  2. 2.Fundación Natura BoliviaSanta CruzBolivia

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