Permanence in REDD+ Schemes: empirical evidence from Kenya on labour-time allocation

Date: 5 Mar 2012
Speaker(s): Stefanie Engel

Part of the Climate Change and Environment Seminar Series: Lent Term 2012 Seminars

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) is currently a major topic in the debate on policies to mitigate climate change.

Developing mechanisms to ensure equity and permanence is a major challenge in REDD+ scheme design. This study contributes to the debate in three ways: first, it addresses equity issues related to the implementation of REDD+ schemes by assessing, theoretically and empirically, policies that create alternative livelihood options for people around REDD+ forests; second, it is the first study to test and compare different REDD+ payment schemes in the field; and third, it is the first study to provide some insights on the effectiveness of different policies with respect to the permanence of forest-based emission reductions.

This study implements a stated preference experiment of time allocation in the unique setting of the Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project in Kenya, the first REDD project ever to issue carbon credits under an internationally accepted standard, where charcoaling is a major source of forest degradation. The impact on time allocation is analysed under the presumption that a hypothetical agricultural policy or an eco-charcoaling policy was introduced.

We find that a policy that indexes eco-charcoal payments to charcoalers’ opportunity costs is the most effective policy in providing permanence in REDD+: it lowers the amount of labor allocated to charcoaling even at high charcoal prices.