Leakage Effects from REDD


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This study was presented during the conference “Production and Carbon Dynamics in Sustainable Agricultural and Forest Systems in Africa ” held in September, 2010.

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Leakage Effects from REDD

  1. 1. Leakage effects from REDD Jesper Stage, Mid Sweden University & University of Gothenburg ABSTRACT In the discussions on REDD and REDD+ one concern which has been raised is that there will be leakage effects of forest protection–that increased protection of one forest, intended to reduce overall carbon emissions caused by deforestation, will in fact only lead to increased pressure on other forest resources instead. However, although the link to international carbon markets is new, the issue of how households respond to changes in forest availability is not. Forest conservation schemes in the past, and households’ responses to these schemes, can teach us much about how rural households would be likely to respond to REDD schemes. Similarly, studying how rural and urban households have responded to reduced overall forest availability can also provide important lessons for the design of policies to reduce some or all extraction of forest products. This presentation will discuss experiences from participatory forest management in Tanzania, as well as research on rural and urban use of charcoal and woodfuels in Tanzania and Malawi. In both countries, changes in the availability of forest products from natural forests (linked both to deforestation and to improved protection of natural forests) have led to a range of different coping measures on the side of rural and urban households; increased use of less accessible forests, increased community forest management, planting of private woodlots, changes in charcoal consumption patterns, among others. Understanding these coping measures, and the driving forces determining which coping measure is actually adopted in a specific situation, can help us assess how different potential REDD and REDD+ policies are likely to work in practice in different parts of the region.
  2. 2. Leakage effects • Concern that impact of REDD can be reduced by leakage effects • We don’t know how big they would be • However, forest conservation and leakage effects are nothing new • Studying existing policies can help us assess likely effects of REDD schemes • Some examples from Tanzania and Malawi
  3. 3. Tanzania: Participatory Forest Management • PFM (in different forms) intended to give communities more say in forest management • One important goal is to reduce deforestation • How have people adapted to the changed forest regime? • Studied using household surveys
  4. 4. Tanzania: PFM, cont. • State of PFM forests has improved • Forest products account for 10-20 % of income • PFM forests used less than before • New community forests and private woodlots set up But • Pressure on more distant forests has increased • This is highly distance- and income-dependent; impact varies by a factor 10 depending on income • Some landless rural households now forced to purchase forest products
  5. 5. Tanzania: Urban fuel use Studied using data from the Tanzanian household budget survey as well as smaller surveys Issues studied: • How sensitive is the choice of fuel to changes in price? • How sensitive is the choice of fuel to changes in household income? • How important is technology lock-in?
  6. 6. Tanzania: Urban fuel use, cont. Very tentative conclusions: • Reduced availability of forest products has pushed up urban woodfuel prices • We see switching to more fuel-efficient stoves But • It has also led people to switch to other fuels (including fossil fuels) • It has increased pressure on more distant forests • People switch to fossil fuels when incomes rise
  7. 7. Malawi: Urban fuel use • Forests are strictly protected (in theory) • Logging only under licensing (in theory) • Charcoal production is illegal (in theory) • (So, the ongoing switch to PFM should have no impact, in theory) • But a recent survey looked at charcoal production and consumption anyway
  8. 8. Malawi: Urban fuel use, cont. • 75 % of domestic urban energy expenditure is on charcoal; many have no obvious alternative • An average of 25 % of the urban price is transportation costs; markets are localised • Another 12 % is bribes to various officials • This share (and the overall price) varies with enforcement activity; availability, not so much
  9. 9. Implications for REDD? • PFM has been implemented with very limited consideration of regional variation • Therefore, the ”success” of the strategy varies tremendously from place to place • Distributional impacts will be crucial for whether the management regimes are perceived as ”fair” in the long run • All of this will likely apply to REDD too
  10. 10. Implications for REDD? (2) Increased forest protection, if successful, will lead to higher prices of charcoal and other woodfuels • ”Top down” protection can feed corruption • ”Bottom up” protection can cause pressure on other forests Links to other carbon policies • Higher charcoal prices will encourage fossil fuel use • Taxes on fossil fuels will encourage charcoal use …and sizes of these effects can be assessed by looking at what happens now
  11. 11. Obligatory happy ending: More research is needed! We need to know more about • how to create feedback from national forest policies to individuals and communities • price sensitivities among producers and consumers • how to encourage private and community tree planting All of which is stuff we can study now, rather than wait for REDD first
  12. 12. Obligatory incomprehensible diagram