Forest conservation and the clean development mechanism: lessons from the Costa Rican protected areas project

F. Vöhringer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Deforestation is currentlythe source of about 20% of anthropogenicCO2 emissions. Avoided deforestationhas, nonetheless, been ruled out as a CleanDevelopment Mechanism (CDM) category in theKyoto Protocol's first commitment period,because several methodological issues wereconsidered too difficult to resolve. Thispaper explores whether CDM issues such as(1) carbon quantification, (2)additionality and baseline setting, (3)leakage risks, (4) non-permanence risks,and (5) sustainable development can beadequately dealt with in large, diversifiedforest conservation projects. To this aim,it studies the case of the Costa RicanProtected Areas Project (PAP), anActivities Implemented Jointly (AIJ)project which was meant to consolidate thenational park system to avoiddeforestation, promote the growth ofsecondary forests and regenerate pastureson an area that, in total, covers 10% ofthe national territory. The case studyexamines how the issues mentioned abovehave been addressed in the project designand in the certification process. It isfound that baseline uncertainties are themajor problem in this case. Nonetheless,the case suggests the possibility toaddress CDM issues by specific requirementsfor project design and very conservativeand temporary crediting. Provided thatother case studies support this conclusion,eligibility of well-designed forestconservation projects under the CDM in thesecond commitment period may be worthconsidering, given the secondary benefitsof avoided deforestation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-240
JournalMitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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