Questioning emissions-based approaches for the definition of REDD+ deforestation baselines in high forest cover/low deforestation countries

Abstract : Background: REDD+ is being questioned by the particular status of High Forest/Low Deforestation countries. Indeed, the formulation of reference levels is made difficult by the confrontation of low historical deforestation records with the forest transition theory on the one hand. On the other hand, those countries might formulate incredibly high deforestation scenarios to ensure large payments even in case of inaction. Results: Using a wide range of scenarios within the Guiana Shield, from methods involving basic assumptions made from past deforestation, to explicit modelling of deforestation using relevant socioeconomic variables at the regional scale, we show that the most common methodologies predict huge increases in deforestation, unlikely to happen given the existing socioeconomic situation. More importantly, it is unlikely that funds provided under most of these scenarios could compensate for the total cost of avoided deforestation in the region, including social and economic costs. Conclusion: This study suggests that a useful and efficient international mechanism should really focus on removing the underlying political and socioeconomic forces of deforestation rather than on hypothetical result-based payments estimated from very questionable reference levels.
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Camille Dezécache, Jean-Michel Salles, Bruno Herault. Questioning emissions-based approaches for the definition of REDD+ deforestation baselines in high forest cover/low deforestation countries. Carbon Balance and Management, BioMed Central, 2018, 13 (1), ⟨10.1186/s13021-018-0109-1⟩. ⟨hal-02100172⟩

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