Benefits of Tropical Forest Management Under the New Climate Change Agreement—A Case Study in Cambodia
"Promoting sustainable forest management as part of the reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation in developing countries (REDD)-plus mechanism in the Copenhagen Accord of December 2009 implies that tropical forests will no longer be ignored in the new climate change agreement. As new financial incentives are pledged, costs and revenues on a 1-ha tract of tropical forestland being managed or cleared for other land use options need to be assessed so that appropriate compensation measures can be proposed. Cambodia's highly stocked evergreen forest, which has experienced rapid degradation and deforestation, will be the first priority forest to be managed if financial incentives through a carbon payment scheme are available. By analyzing forest inventory data, we assessed the revenues and costs for managing a hypothetical 1 ha of forestland against six land use options: business-as-usual timber harvesting (BAU-timber), forest management under the REDD-plus mechanism, forest-to-teak plantation, forest-to-acacia plantation, forest-to-rubber plantation, and forest-to-oil palm plantation. We determined annual equivalent values for each option, and the BAU-timber and REDD-plus management options were the highest, with both options influenced by logging costs and timber price. Financial incentives should be provided at a level that would allow continuation of sustainable logging and be attractive to REDD-plus project developers."