High-Carbon-Stock Rural-Development Pathways in Asia and Africa: Improved Land Management for Climate Change Mitigation

Low-carbon (emission) economic development pathways are needed to contain and gradually slow emissions of the greenhouse gases (GHGs) that cause global climate change. As developing countries contribute to GHG emissions largely through land management practices that degrade landscape carbon stocks, climate change strategies in developing countries must give specific attention to land management. Yet, current mechanisms for international investment or incentives in emission reductions from the land use sector, especially reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD+) and the clean development mechanism (CDM), have so far been slow to develop. Prospects remain good, however. Intensification of land use through tree-based production systems has emerged as a principal rural development pathway in much of Southeast Asia, with significant benefits for reducing GHG emissions, generating economic returns, providing ecosystem services, and adapting to climate change. In Africa, intensification of tree-based production systems has been much slower to develop despite great biophysical potential. This chapter develops the concept of a high-carbon-stock rural-development (HCSRD) pathway as an extension of the tree cover (forest) transition model and compares experiences of HCSRDP development in Asia and Africa. Those experiences show that achieving a HCSRD pathway requires coordinated attention to interactions and trade-offs among forestry, agriculture, and rural development. Innovative finance mechanisms, enabling policy and institutional environments, effective and efficient extension systems, and appropriate investment strategies can catalyze tree-based or agroforestry enterprises and optimize trade-offs between the multiple functions of landscapes.

Minang, P.A; van Noordwijk, M.; Swallow, B.;
Publications Details
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Year Published: 2012