This video, which was launched at the Paris climate conference, can now be downloaded from YouTube at
A short version (3 minutes) is also available at:
Your thoughts and comments are welcome!
domingo, 13 de diciembre de 2015
lunes, 30 de noviembre de 2015
At present Mexico has a baseline (REL) for deforestation but not for degradation or for forest enhancements; so cannot claim performance-related rewards for these elements of REDD+
Mexico has proposed a national Reference Emission Level (REL) to the UNFCCC and has developed an Initiative for Reduced Emissions, with finance from FCPF. However the REL includes only emissions from deforestation and forest fires. This is mainly because there is insufficient historical data on changing carbon stocks within forests to estimate trends in degradation and forest enhancement. On a parallel track, there is an opening for activities that promote carbon removals through forest enhancement. These can be developed by forest owners, including communities, as individual projects, and could be financed through sale of credits in national and international voluntary carbon markets, based on local monitoring of increasing stocks as a result of local management interventions.
Reduced degradation however remains out of the picture in terms of finance for the time being, even though it is possibly the greatest contributor to forest emissions. The difficulty is primarily related to lack of historical data, which is a problem worldwide, and the challenge is how to develop robust degradation baselines either at the local or the national level.
This message is the fourth of 8 key messages from the WOTROMEX programme. The case study area is the Ayuquila Basin in western Jalisco, which is a REDD+ Early Action Area under the Mexican national strategy for REDD+. WOTROMEX is supported by the Netherlands Science for Global Development Programme (NWO-WOTRO) and has been carried out by CIGA-UNAM together with the University of Twente, the Netherlands
domingo, 29 de noviembre de 2015
The shifting cultivation cycle in the study area has been reducing from 10 years to five or six years over the last 10 to 15 years. Contrary to popular opinion, this has not led to increased emissions because the driving force behind the change is not population increase (i.e. not pressure on the land) but a combination of public policy (subsidies which inadvertently encourage farmers to circulate their land more quickly) and the fact that clearing fallows requires much more labour if they are left from more than five years.
With a downward relative trend in maize prices over the last decade, and given that labour is the constraining factor in traditional agriculture, farmers nowadays prefer short cycles (cutting mature fallow is very labour intensive). Since in this area there has not been an increase in numbers of farmers engaged in shifting cultivation, this shortening of fallows appears to have been accompanied by an increase in areas abandoned by agriculture, and these areas are increasing their carbon stocks. Biomass emissions per ton of maize produced in a shifting cultivation system are around 1.27 t C compared to 0.59 t C in permanent agriculture, but this does not take into account the much higher carbon inputs in permanent agriculture in the form of energy and agrochemicals.
This message is the fifth of 8 key messages from the WOTROMEX programme. The case study area is the Ayuquila Basin in western Jalisco, which is a REDD+ Early Action Area under the Mexican national strategy for REDD+. WOTROMEX is supported by the Netherlands Science for Global Development Programme (NWO-WOTRO) and has been carried out by CIGA-UNAM together with the University of Twente, the Netherlands
viernes, 27 de noviembre de 2015
Gross degradation in the tropical dry forests of Mexico forests results in more emissions than deforestation
Tropical dry forests (TDF) are much more densely populated than humid forests in Mexico (as in much of the rest of the world) and local communities use them intensively, causing extensive degradation. As a result, the average above ground carbon stock levels of TDF in Mexico are currently around 14.5 t C/ha (compared to an intact level of 40 to 60 t C/ha). There could be opportunities under REDD+ for reducing degradation emissions and increasing carbon sequestration in TDF, but these would need to involve local communities and be based on a good understanding of the underlying processes.
One third of the sampling plots of TDF in the national forest inventory showed losses of carbon stock between 2004−7 and 2009−13, resulting in gross emissions from degradation of 22Gg CO2 per year. This is considerably more than the emissions due to deforestation (around 3Gg CO2 per year.) On the other hand, two thirds of the sampling plots in TDF showed increases in carbon stock over the period, resulting in gross removals due to forest enhancement of around 40 GgCO2per year. The enhancements outweighed the emissions, with average standing stock in TDF increasing at a rate of 0.3 tC/ha/year between the periods 2004−7 and 2009−13, indicating that on average stocks are recovering, probably as a result of abandonment of agriculture and out-migration from rural areas. This indicates that gains and losses may be related through cyclical processes such as shifting cultivation or shifting pasture use. Interventions undertaken under REDD+ need to be based on a good understanding of these processes.
This message is the third of 8 key messages from the WOTROMEX programme. The case study area is the Ayuquila Basin in western Jalisco, which is a REDD+ Early Action Area under the Mexican national strategy for REDD+. WOTROMEX is supported by the Netherlands Science for Global Development Programme (NWO-WOTRO) and has been carried out by CIGA-UNAM together with the University of Twente, the Netherlands
This video will be shown at our presentation in the Holland Pavilion in Paris on December 4th. A short preview can be found at: https://youtu.be/rCJPgdd_vWQ
jueves, 26 de noviembre de 2015
Well-enforced command and control mechanisms and greater inter-sectoral coherence, not direct payments, may be the best solutions in the long run to reducing deforestation
Although it is possible to establish that some geographical areas are more at threat from deforestation than others, it is very difficult to identify exactly who is going to deforest in a given period of time. This means that payments for ´not deforesting´ would have to be given to far more forest owners than would, in reality, have deforested. Given also the relatively high opportunity costs of deforestation, this would result in low cost efficiency. Moreover, any such payments would likely result in leakage, as demand for pasture or agricultural land would simply shift to other locations.
Although PES may be part of the solution under REDD+, it does not address the causes of deforestation. Given the relatively high opportunity costs of deforestation, well-enforced command and control mechanisms may be a long run solution to reducing it. Dealing with the lack of coherence between agricultural policies (which often promote clearance) and environmental policies (which aim to reduce deforestation) at the local level and at the national and regional level would be a major step forward, but sectoral autonomy is a political reality and reaching agreement between institutions may be a challenge.
This message is the second of 8 key messages from the WOTROMEX programme. The case study area is the Ayuquila Basin in western Jalisco, which is a REDD+ Early Action Area under the Mexican national strategy for REDD+. WOTROMEX is supported by the Netherlands Science for Global Development Programme (NWO-WOTRO) and has been carried out by CIGA-UNAM together with the University of Twente, the Netherlands
miércoles, 25 de noviembre de 2015
There have been several studies of the opportunity costs of deforestation in the context of REDD+, for example in preparation for the Stern Report (Greig Gran 2008, http://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/G02489.pdf) and for the World Bank (Chomitz, 2007 http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2006/10/19/000112742_20061019150049/additional/ixviiiPRRALFMweb.pdf) but very little is known about the opportunity costs of degradation. In InfoBrief 6 we present some estimates of the opportunity costs of degradation for the case of shifting cultivation in western Mexico. Not only are these costs high, they also vary greatly according to farming style. This introduces a social dimension which has not been present in studies of opportunity costs earlier. For InfoBrief 6 please see the side menu.