Departmental Bulletin Paper Opportunity Cost of REDD+ in Community Forests in the Mid-Hills of Nepal : A Case Study of Thangsa Deurali Community Forest, Dolakha

Joshi, Niraj Prakash  ,  Paneru, Supa  ,  Piya, Luni

(6)  , pp.27 - 39 , 2016-03-23 , 広島大学現代インド研究センター
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) was reformulated to cover deforestation and forest degradation, which, until recently, were overlooked in climate change mitigation initiatives. However, whether REDD+ will benefit countries like Nepal, which has a relatively low deforestation rate, less forest cover, and a population predominantly comprising farmers who are heavily dependent on forests, is being debated. To address this issue, the opportunity cost (OC) of REDD+ need to be analyzed. This study analyzes the OC of REDD+ against high-value and mid-value crops in the Thangsa Deurali Community Forest (TDCF) of Dolakha district in the midhills of Nepal. This community forest has been participating in the REDD+ pilot program since 2009. In the study, household survey, focused group discussions, and key informant interviews were used to collect data on community forest management, including forest harvesting and agricultural practices. To estimate the OC, the 2011 guidelines from the World Bank were followed. Potato was taken as a high-value crop, whereas maize and millet were taken as mid-value crops, considering their importance in the study area. The members of TDCF harvest mainly timber, fuel wood, fodder, and leaf litter from the forest’s 217.1 hectares (ha). The OCs of REDD+ will be US$0.072 million/year and US$0.065 million/year for high- and mid-value crops, respectively. The carbon prices of US$198 and US$179 per ton will be optimal to cover the possible losses for not moving to high- and mid-value crops, respectively, in forestland that can be converted to agricultural land. Co-benefits such as enhancing biodiversity, water recharging, and increasing the role of the forest itself in the farming system could make REDD+ a good choice for managing forests with community participation. The monetary value of such co-benefits is crucial in easing out the optimal carbon price.

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