Implications of Country-Level Decisions on the Specification of Crown Cover in the Definition of Forests for Land Area Eligible for Afforestation and Reforestation Activities in the CDM
According to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) with the Kyoto Protocol, reforestation may only occur on land that was not forested in 1990. This article evaluates how afforestation and reforestation (A/R) through the ENCOFOR project in four countries have approached the issue of "what is forest?" The authors highlight the uncertainty in the qualifications to be forest by presenting many different national or organizational definitions of forestland. Differences in the minimum crown cover needed to be classified as forest can affect the area available for reforestation under CDM.
Research Goals & Methods
Using multiple land-cover datasets, the authors delineated forested area in Bolivia, Ecuador, Uganda, and Kenya using different thresholds for forest definitions, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, and 30% crown cover.
Conclusions & Takeaways
The authors find that if the level of forest needed by 1990 to be counted as forest is at 10%, that would make large areas of land ineligible for A/R activities. This low threshold, combined with other exclusion criteria such as water cover, would make less than 10% of land available for A/R in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Uganda and less than 20% in Kenya. This would be excluding much of the agricultural areas with some trees from qualifying for reforestation. Instead the authors recommend a crown cover threshold of 30% to count as forest to maximize their participation and flexibility.
Implications of Country-Level Decisions on the Specification of Crown Cover in the Definition of Forests for Land Area Eligible for Afforestation and Reforestation Activities in the CDM. Climatic Change. 2007;81:415–430. doi:10.1007/s10584-006-9111-9..
- International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), Nairobi, Kenya
- International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Colombo Sri Lanka
- Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Division Forest, Nature and Landscape Celestijnenlaan Leuven Belgium