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Forests in the Balance Sheet

Lessons from Developed Country Land Use Change and Forestry Greenhouse Gas Accounting & Reporting

This working paper analyzes developed country experience to date in relation to implementation of the LULUCF (land use, land use change and forestry) provisions of the Kyoto Protocol.

Key Findings

Executive Summary

The world’s forests, both their use and loss have a critical role for international efforts to counter climate change. Recognizing this, Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) included in the 2007 Bali road map a mandate to develop a mechanism that would create incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).

In order to ensure that a REDD mechanism is both effective and credible in protecting and restoring forests and reducing carbon dioxide emissions, a range of accounting and methodological challenges will have to be solved. In assessing the scale of those challenges many commentators have looked to pilot projects. However, while instructive, these projects do not get at the larger issues involved in national accounting. It is interesting therefore to look for lessons from the experience of Annex I (developed) countries in accounting for forest-related emissions and sequestration as part of their national emission reduction commitments. This working paper thus analyzes developed country experience to date in relation to implementation of the LULUCF (land use, land use change and forestry) provisions of the Kyoto Protocol.

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