The article considers the potential for community-based forest management (of existing forests) in developing countries, as a future CDM strategy, to sequester and mitigate carbon and to claim credits in future commitment periods. This kind of forestry is cost-effective, and should bring many more benefits to local populations than do afforestation and reforestation, thus contributing more strongly to sustainable development. However, community forest management projects are small-scale, and the transaction costs associated with justifying them as climate projects are likely to be high. A research project being carried out in five developing countries is testing carbon measurement and monitoring methods which can be carried out by community members with very little formal education, which should greatly reduce these transaction costs. Using hand-held computers with GIS capability and attached GPS, villagers with 4 years of primary education are able to accurately map their forest resource and input biomass data from sample plots into a program which calculates carbon values.
- Participatory carbon measuring and monitoring
- Environmental service payments
- Transaction costs