A global evaluation of the effectiveness of voluntary REDD+ projects at reducing deforestation and degradation in the moist tropics

Guizar-Coutiño, Alex, Jones, Julia P. G., Balmford, Andrew, Carmenta, Rachel ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8607-4147 and Coomes, David A. (2022) A global evaluation of the effectiveness of voluntary REDD+ projects at reducing deforestation and degradation in the moist tropics. Conservation Biology, 36 (6). ISSN 0888-8892

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Abstract

Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) projects aim to contribute to climate change mitigation by protecting and enhancing carbon stocks in tropical forests, but there have been no systematic global evaluations of their impact. We used a new data set for tropical humid forests and a standardized evaluation approach (based on pixel matching) to quantify the performance of a representative sample of 40 voluntary REDD+ projects in 9 countries certified under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). In the first 5 years of implementation, deforestation within project areas was reduced by 47% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 24–68) compared with matched counterfactual pixels, and degradation rates were 58% lower (95% CI: 49–63). Reductions were small in absolute terms but greater in sites located in high-deforestation settings and did not appear to be substantially undermined by leakage activities in forested areas within 10 km of project boundaries. At the 26th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the international community renewed its commitment to tackling tropical deforestation as a nature-based solution to climate change. Our results indicate that incentivizing forest conservation through voluntary site-based projects can slow tropical deforestation and highlight the particular importance of prioritizing financing for areas at greater risk of deforestation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Author acknowledgements: A.G.C. received a scholarship from Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología México, CONACYT, and the Frank Jackson Foundation through a grant to Wolfson College. D.A.C. and A.B. were supported by a grant from the Cambridge Conservation Initiative Collaborative Fund (CCI‐06‐16‐019). A.B. was supported by a Royal Society Wolfson Merit award. We thank T. Swinfield for commenting on the manuscript. We also thank B. Balmford, H. Wauchope, J. Geldmann, and J. Schleicher for feedback on the analytical methods. We thank the team involved with CCI‐06‐16‐019 for stimulating discussions that catalyzed this research. Finally, we acknowledge Cambridge Centre for Carbon Credits (4C) for the computing resources provided to conduct this work and the helpful discussions.
Uncontrolled Keywords: carbon,carbono,correspondencia,ecosystem services,evaluación de impacto,forest loss,impact evaluation,matching,nature-based solutions,pérdida de bosques,servicios ecosistémicos,soluciones basadas en la naturaleza,ecology, evolution, behavior and systematics,nature and landscape conservation,ecology,sdg 13 - climate action ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1100/1105
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2022 16:30
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2022 03:23
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/85748
DOI: 10.1111/cobi.13970

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