Featured News Research reveals cheap ways of reducing carbon emissions

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Thu, 5 Jan 2017

Research reveals cheap ways of reducing carbon emissions

Rainforest in Sumatra
Rainforest in Sumatra.

New research led by James Cook University has found there are cost-effective ways to reduce carbon emissions caused by forest loss in Southeast Asia.

Postgraduate researcher Victoria Graham and her colleagues examined the financial competitiveness of the REDD+ scheme.

“REDD+ stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, and conserving and sustainably managing forests. The initiative was conceived in 2005 to slow deforestation in tropical, developing countries by linking financial payments with carbon stored in forests,” she said.

The goal of REDD+ is to support global climate mitigation efforts that recognise the need to slow tropical forest loss, and support developing countries in meeting their emissions reduction targets.

For the first time, JCU researchers collated the cost and benefit data of a broad range of REDD+ strategies in Southeast Asia.

They found that emissions reductions can be most efficiently maximised per dollar spent by restoring tropical forests that have been cleared, employing sustainable techniques for log-harvesting and improving the effectiveness of protected areas by investing in extra staff and infrastructure.

The scientists also found that purchasing land that was planned for oil palm and timber plantations were the most expensive strategies.

“Illegal logging and agricultural encroachment are common in many parts of Southeast Asia and are partly attributed to weak law enforcement, due to inadequate funding of protected areas, but these issues can be addressed with REDD+ finance,” said Ms Graham.

She said that identifying low-cost opportunities for REDD+ may foster greater financial and political support for protecting tropical forests across the region.

These findings aim to inform policy making regarding financially appropriate ways forward for REDD+ in Southeast Asia.

Link to pics – Victoria Graham and forests in Sumatra: http://bit.ly/2iJ6gL4

Pictures are provided for one time use with this release. They are not available for reuse or archiving.


Victoria Graham
E: victoria.graham@my.jcu.edu.eu