Geographic overlaps between priority areas for forest carbon-storage efforts and those for delivering peacebuilding programs: implications for policy design
Forest-based emmission reductions, such as REDD+, have increasingly been promoted yet the conversation around these initiatives rarely consider opportunities outside the environmental sector. This paper examines one of these opportunities: the interaction between carbon-storage and peacebuilding. Using Colombia as a case-study, the authors investigate the ways in which forest carbon-storage and peacebuilding influence conservation and conflict.
Goals & Methods
The goal of this study is to contribute to the understanding of the ways that armed conflict and forest-cover influence each other, particualrly because 25 countries committed to REDD+ are either in or emerging from active conflict. To do so, the authors exmaine spatial associations between carbon in woody biomass and three conflict-related variables: armed actions; conflict victims; and area under coca cultivation. We also investigate spatial associations between forest-cover changes and the three conflict-related variables. These anlayzes were conducted in 1120 Colombian municipalities.
Conclusions & Takeaways
The study found that the conflict-affected municipalities in Colombia stored more carbon and were under less threat of deforestation. The authors also identified three primary uses for these areas for military-strategy: 1) venues for battle; (2) hideouts; and (3) sources of valuable natural resources to finance war. With this in mind, the authors stress that the level of carbon storage and threat of deforestation in conflict-ridden areas depends on the use. Thus, more research is required. The authors conclude, arguing that REDD+ activities can be used to foster peace while peacebuilding efforts can also encourage conservation and preservation.
Geographic overlaps between priority areas for forest carbon-storage efforts and those for delivering peacebuilding programs: implications for policy design. Environmental Research Letters. 2017;12:054014. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aa6f20..
- Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
- ONF International, Bogotá, DC, Colombia
- International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Cali, Colombia