As UNFCCC negotiations move towards a powerful new mechanism for compensating tropical countries for their nation-wide reductions of greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), several important questions remain: How much will REDD cost" Will it benefit forest people" Is it possible to monitor forests when so many countries are chronically covered with clouds" These and other questions are the topics addressed in four new studies released today by the Woods Hole Research Center in anticipation of the 13th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Bali, Indonesia.
These reports represent the cutting edge in ecological, economic, and remote sensing science applied to the crucial task of readying tropical nations around the world for participation in this important new dimension of the UNFCCC, says John P. Holdren, Director of the Woods Hole Research Center.
WHRC Senior Scientist Daniel Nepstad adds, These new studies demonstrate that the annual cost of slowing deforestation will be quite low but that many decades of payments to tropical countries will be needed, that the potential benefits for forest people are high, and that radar technology is ready to go to scale in looking through clouds to monitor forests.
In The Costs and Benefits of Reducing Carbon Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in the Brazilian Amazon, prepared by the WHRC, the the Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amaznia, and the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, one of the regions with the worlds largest carbon emission is evaluated. Economic models of potential profits from the expansion of soybeans, cattle, and logging are used to estimate the opportunity costs of bringing deforestation to zero over a ten year period. These economic analyses are compared with a cost accounting of what it would take for Brazil to achieve this deforestation reduction through compensation of forest people, private land forest stew
|Contact: Elizabeth Braun|
Woods Hole Research Center