Remarkable progress has been achieved recently with regards to reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation at the international level and there is a growing understanding of the challenges, opportunities and costs of reducing deforestation and forest degradation at the national level. However, there remains an important gap when it comes to the question about how REDD+ can actually be implemented at the operational level. Taking into account the large ITTO operational experience forest management at the project level – which covers a wide range of activities such as sustainable forest management, restoration of secondary forest, conservation efforts and the management of plantations and newer experiences gained through the REDDES Thematic Program, the proposed review will be an important input helping bridge the gap that remains between policies and implementation.
The purpose of this study looking into the carbon effects of ITTO projects is to show the extent to which the operational work of ITTO has already been contributing to the reduction of emission from deforestation and forest degradation, and to come up with methods how to estimate carbon stock baselines and climate mitigation services of operational activities, and how to screen for co-benefits of forestry activities. Systematically assessing the costs and benefits of forest management activities and the relation to changes in carbon stocks in a number of selected projects will help to understand the challenges and opportunities, and will show the co-benefits of different alternatives. The study will allow developing concrete guidance how future ITTO projects can best be developed to achieve maximum effects. The new knowledge is not only valuable for parties interested in submitting a project proposal, but for demonstrating the value of the ITTO as a key partner for institutions and countries interested in operationalizing REDD strategies.