Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Mitigation potential and cost in tropical forestry - relative role for
- Author(s): Makundi, Willy R.
- Sathaye, Jayant A.
- et al.
This paper summarizes studies of carbon mitigation potential (MP) and costs of forestry options in seven developing countries with a focus on the role of agroforestry. A common methodological approach known as comprehensive mitigation assessment process (COMAP) was used in each study to estimate the potential and costs between 2000 and 2030. The approach requires the projection of baseline and mitigation land-use scenarios derived from the demand for forest products and forestland for other uses such as agriculture and pasture. By using data on estimated carbon sequestration, emission avoidance, costs and benefits, the model enables one to estimate cost effectiveness indicators based on monetary benefit per t C, as well as estimates of total mitigation costs and potential when the activities are implemented at equilibrium level. The results show that about half the MP of 6.9 Gt C (an average of 223 Mt C per year) between 2000 and 2030 in the seven countries could be achieved at a negative cost, and the other half at costs not exceeding $100 per t C. Negative cost indicates that non-carbon revenue is sufficient to offset direct costs of about half of the options. The agroforestry options analyzed bear a significant proportion of the potential at medium to low cost per t C when compared to other options. The role of agroforestry in these countries varied between 6 percent and 21 percent of the MP, though the options are much more cost effective than most due to the low wage or opportunity cost of rural labor. Agroforestry options are attractive due to the large number of people and potential area currently engaged in agriculture, but they pose unique challenges for carbon and cost accounting due to the dispersed nature of agricultural activities in the tropics, as well as specific difficulties arising from requirements for monitoring, verification, leakage assessment and the establishment of credible baselines.