Carbon leakage and emission displacement will haunt REDD's effectiveness unless programs and forest definitions are more inclusive and comprehensive

7 December 2010

An exclusive focus on forests as opposed to the entire landscape could lead to inequitable and destructive outcomes for the poor in developing countries, said a Nairobi-based agroforestry research organization today. Most deforestation and forest degradation is driven by forces outside forests, so capturing emissions and managing carbon stocks from land uses that involve the whole landscape, not just forests, must be included for the successful implementation of REDD+, according to World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). A recently published ICRAF policy brief noted that the emissions from changes in land use in Indonesia, which is the highest in the developing world, are as high outside as inside what is defined as a forest area. Yet, most REDD+ discussions so far have bypassed the trees on farms and the changes in agroforests.