Evaluating the success of carbon projects aimed at protecting tropical forests and benefiting local livelihoods

It is becoming clear that protecting swathes of tropical forest through REDD+ schemes presents diverse and significant challenges. Nevertheless, the collaborators involved with this proposal, FFI, RSPB, Permian Global, South East Asian Rainforest Research Partnership, Brazilian National Research Agency and The University of Cambridge departments of Geography, Zoology and Plant Sciences, believe that carbon projects can play an important role in the sustainable management of tropical forests. The project aims to answer fundamentally important questions surrounding the effectiveness and impact of the current carbon-based mechanisms designed to avoid deforestation and degradation. It will assess the performance of carbon-focused interventions in their ability to reduce deforestation whilst benefitting local livelihoods and biodiversity. This will produce guidelines to inform the ongoing evolution of REDD+, as well as emerging carbon-focussed activities within the business sector such as impact investment and zero-deforestation supply chains.

Project Aims

Following the euphoria of the mid-2000s, it is becoming clear that protecting swaths of tropical forest and abating climate change through REDD+ and other carbon-based mechanisms presents diverse and significant challenges.  Nevertheless, the collaborators involved with this proposal believe that carbon projects can play an important role in the sustainable management of tropical forests. The project aims to answer fundamentally important questions surrounding the effectiveness and impact of the current carbon-based mechanisms designed to avoid deforestation and degradation.  

Key Activities

The team will address the following priority issues:

1.How can adequate, predicable and effective REDD+ finance be achieved?  

2.What should qualify as “performance” in REDD+, how can it be measured, and how are projects performing?  

3.How can non-carbon benefits be integrated and safeguarded?  

4.What practical lessons from REDD+ project development can inform the application of emerging market- and fund-based mechanisms?

Conservation Impact

We will draw upon the first-hand experience of key organisations involved with REDD+ and other carbon projects, to identify impediments to the implementation of carbon projects, seek solutions to these problems and disseminate our findings to a wide audience. 

Outputs

We will deliver an academically robust evaluation, grounded in the real-life experience of conservation practitioners:

  • A quantitative and qualitative analysis, assessing the relationship between deforestation rates, conservation interventions, socio-economic impact on local communities,  level of financial investment, and other factors that explain the success or otherwise of REDD+ activities.
 

CCI partners Involved

The UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) is the specialist biodiversity assessment arm of the United Nations Environment Programme, the world’s foremost intergovernmental...
The Department of Plant Sciences' research spans plant and microbial sciences. Conservation-related work in the department includes forest ecology and conservation, tropical ecology, mathematical...
The Department of Geography's research clusters focus on society and environment, development and political ecology, culture and demography, environmental processes, landscape modelling and climate...
Fauna & Flora International (FFI) acts to conserve threatened species and ecosystems worldwide, delivering global and regional programmes of conservation and community projects.
The Department of Zoology carries out wide-ranging work in ecology and conservation including conservation science, aquatic ecology, pathogen evolution and evolutionary ecology. Research of the...
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment. It is the largest wildlife conservation organisation in...

Other Organisations Involved