Journal Articles

Understanding the value and limitations of nature-based solutions to climate change and other global challenges

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Nature-based Solutions (NbS) are initiatives that work with nature to adapt to environmental and climate challenges. NbS have grown in popularity in recent years, and are generally seen as a promising way to address the effects of climate change. Nature-based Solutions are also seen as a way to help countries achieve their Nationally-Determined Contributions (NDCs). Outlined by the UN Paris Agreement in 2016, NDCs are nations’ individual pledges to reduce CO2 emissions and adapt to climate change.

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Potential for low-cost carbon removal through tropical reforestation

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The UNFCCC COP21 (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties) created the Paris Agreement in 2015, which pledges to “limit global warming to well below 2, preferably 1.5 °C.” For this to happen, we must both reduce how much carbon dioxide (CO2) that is released and find ways to capture CO2 that is already in the atmosphere. This study explores two ways this might happen using Nature-based Solutions: tree planting in the form of reforestation and afforestation, and the prevention of deforestation. 

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A systematic review of the socio-economic impacts of large-scale tree plantations, worldwide

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Large-scale tree plantations can provide raw material for industries and support climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration. However, they can have positive and negative ecological and socioeconomic impacts. This paper presents the findings on a systematic review of literature on the socioeconomic impacts of large-scale tree plantations.

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Ecologies of the colonial present: Pathological forestry from the taux de boisement to civilized plantations

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Why do foresters plant trees? Testing theories of bureaucratic decision-making in central India

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There is a long history of tree planting in India, and it continues to be favored by policy makers and bureaucrats at the state level. However, the author points out that the popularity of tree plantations is puzzling in the Indian case because firstly, it does not seem aligned with the goals of India’s forest policies which tend to emphasize ecosystem services rather than timber production and secondly, many degraded areas can regenerate naturally and do not require plantings to regenerate. This paper examines why tree plantations continue to be popular among state-level forest departments in India and how they are implemented in the field.

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Anything but a story foretold: multiple politics of resistance to the agrarian extractivist project in Guatemala

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Afforestation and reforestation programs in South and South East Asia under the Clean Development Mechanism: Trends and development opportunities

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Conservation, green/blue grabbing, and accumulation by dispossession in Tanzania

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A number of scholars point out that current processes surrounding the control of land and other resources lead to the loss of land for some alongside the accumulation of wealth by others. According to them, recent forms of neoliberal conservation enable capital accumulation by powerful groups through shifts in ownership and access over common land away from communities. The authors of this paper sought to compare wildlife and coastal conservation projects in Tanzania to understand the similarities and differences in the types of dispossessions and accumulation that occur in these two types of ecosystems through conservation programs.

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Limited effects of tree planting on forest canopy cover and rural livelihoods in rural India

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Pitfalls of tree planting show why we need people-centered natural climate solutions

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Tree planting campaigns are promoted as a solution to climate change, because of the ability of trees to sequester carbon from the atmosphere. However, research from the social and natural sciences suggests that tree plantations could have potentially negative consequences for people and ecosystems. In addition to failing to meet ecological targets, plantations can also lead to land alienation and the loss of livelihoods for communities. This paper discusses misconceptions about tree plantations.

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