India’s Policy towards REDD+: Dense Forest Ahead!

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Indias Policy towards REDD+: Dense Forest Ahead!. Sharachchandra Lele Senior Fellow Centre for Environment & Development ATREE. Indias official attraction to REDD+. REDD+ will be a just reward for Indias forest conservation efforts that benefit the globe - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


<ul><li><p>Indias Policy towards REDD+:Dense Forest Ahead! </p><p>Sharachchandra LeleSenior Fellow Centre for Environment &amp; DevelopmentATREE</p></li><li><p>Indias official attraction to REDD+REDD+ will be a just reward for Indias forest conservation efforts that benefit the globe</p><p>REDD+ will generate large economic benefits (3 billion USD over 3 decades)</p><p>These benefits will be passed on to forest protecting communities (leading to poverty alleviation)</p></li><li><p>How should we evaluate REDD+?Climate effectivenessPoverty alleviationBenefits must exceed opportunity costsFairness (international, internal)Biodiversity conservationImpact on democratic processes</p></li><li><p>Should we engage with REDD+ at all?REDD+ in the absence of a global climate agreement only makes sense if it is based on free funds, not on selling CERsBut only pilot phase funding is coming from public funds, rest from the carbon marketCarbon market can only emerge post-agreementIn any likely agreement, India will need forest carbon to offset its own emissions!</p></li><li><p>Climate effectivenessClimate can be saved without REDD+</p><p>Large uncertainties about below ground biomass, about rates of regrowth in natural forest, about baselines (additionality)</p><p>Overestimated potential: wastelands of 75 Mha are available (for CDM)degraded forests are available at no opportunity cost</p><p>Leakage: Allocating net national gain/loss to a locationCross-sectoral leakage (LPG replacing fuelwood)</p></li><li><p>Poverty alleviation requirements: non-market scenario</p><p>Gross returns must be highOpportunity costs must be lowTransaction costs must be lowReturns must go preferentially into the hands of the poor</p></li><li><p>Gross poverty alleviationQuantum of returns from carbon forestry (not counting transaction costs or opp costs): $5/tC amounts to only Rs 6000-Rs12000/ha over 25 yrs!If a village of 100 hhs has 100 ha (!), each hh gets 12,000 over 25 years?!</p><p>Transaction costs will be high: more than 50% by any estimateNegotiatingContractingMONITORING!Payments</p></li><li><p>Opportunity costsDegraded forest lands are under heavy useCPRs contributing ~30% of livelihoods in dryland regions (FES, 2011)large fraction from grazing &amp; firewood collectionReforestation involves substantial opportunity costs for local usersIndiscriminate reforestation can also impose environmental opportunity costs (hydrology, biodiversity)</p></li><li><p>Compare incentives for reducing deforestation (source: Chetan)Carbon - 1- 5 tons @ $1-20 = $1 - $,100 / ha / yrDeforest and divert land use - Rs 500,000 to Rs 9,00,000/- per ha to the CAMPA12th Finance commission Rs 1000 crores by forest area pro rata basis Rs Rs 29/ha/yrNeither CAMPA nor 12 Fin Commission money is shared with communitiesCAMPA not additional in state budgets</p></li><li><p>Conditions for To the hands of the poorVillagers must control forest carbon resource and its marketingMarginalised groups must have strong say within villagePoor must have capacity to make long-term investments, absorb opp.costs, engage with technicalitiesCDM on private lands must not swamp REDD+ on community lands</p></li><li><p>Indian situationRights of village community not legallly defined/granted (vis--vis state, vis--vis neighbouring community)JFM does not provide for autonomous decision-makingElite capture is a very real, exacerbated by JFMPaternalistic state control =&gt; no local capacity (e.g., NTFP)Rich farmers will always out-compete through CDM (e.g., biofuels)</p></li><li><p>Democratic governanceCurrent state of forest governance highly undemocraticState-managed (non-market) REDD+ only strengthens centralisationMarket-based REDD+, in absence of community-level autonomy, does not workEither way: governance reform is strong pre-condition</p></li><li><p>Impact of biodiversity conservation and other environmental benefitsCarbon forestry is not intrinsically biodiversity friendly: fast growing tree plantations are best for carbonCarbon forestry can also have mixed effects on hydrological cycleIf one adopts mixed forestry or native species, biodiv increases, but sequestration rates go down, $$ go down</p></li><li><p>RecommendationsEnormous caution requiredEngagement in REDD+ itself is questionableForest rights and governance reform should be absolute pre-condition (for non-market or market-based)Local capacities for democratic decision-making and market engagement need strengthening first</p></li><li><p>Elite capture in JFM: Thondal village, Kolarback</p></li></ul>


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