Tropical Trees: Reducing Carbon Emissions and Poverty with Measurements and Markets

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 Tropical deforestation accounts for close to twenty percent of carbon emissions today. Thus reducing deforestation and forest degradation and enhancing agroforestry is a high priority for tropical countries both for meeting international obligations and entering the carbon markets. What’s more, improving the state of forests benefits the rural poor by mitigating floods and winds, protecting watersheds, and providing biodiversity, enhanced soil fertility, and land productivity. Previous negotiations on forests for climate have been held back for reasons of scientific uncertainty and issues of leakage, additionality, and permanence. Moreover, despite much effort to date by national and international organizations, the requisite national and global information to underpin such agreements and financial schemes is lacking. The purpose of this talk is to outline what is needed to achieve accurate forest carbon storage and emissions information, with a focus on national forest carbon accounting systems.