Challenges and Opportunities for REDD at Lake Naivasha, Kenya: Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation from a Technical, Institutional and Socio-Economic Perspective.
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AbstractThe Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change does currently not recognize carbon-trading mechanisms on Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD). However, REDD will address a source of greenhouse gas emissions larger than the entire global transportation sector and without it, the 2°C climate stabilization goal will not be reached. REDD carbon credits can be derived by designing a project according to REDD standards and several universal criteria. Although the exact amount of derivable REDD carbon credits in Naivasha could not be estimated, enough technical potential (300 hectares) has been found. The next steps contain defining the project boundaries; develop a cost-benefit analysis, and hence a Project Design Document. However, several Community Forest Associations implemented Participatory Forest Management Plans and therefore have limited potential to become included in a REDD scheme due to the “Additionality” criteria. These communities can benefit from other carbon credits through Afforestation, Reforestation and Re-vegetation (ARR) projects. This study showed that stakeholders are willing to engage in a REDD scheme in Naivasha, but the majority lacks capacity or resources to invest in it. The Kenya Forest Service (KFS) can be a crucial partner in developing a REDD project and they cooperated with the Green Belt Movement in an ARR project in the Aberdares Forest. Their ARR Project Design Document differs from a REDD Project Design Document but it can contribute significantly in developing REDD for Lake Naivasha`s water catchment. It has been found that National Kenyan REDD policy is expected within 2 years and although it will support and facilitate REDD projects, it could also impose regulations that reduces the flexibility of project proponents. The best strategy is to develop a REDD project in advance of national policy and monitor its developments to adjust accordingly. At the moment, REDD project proponents can negotiate with KFS in designing their projects benefit distribution scheme. The latter has been raised as a key-concern during stakeholder consultations. Since the WWF has an excellent reputation amongst stakeholders and local communities, it is recommended that a REDD project and its benefit distribution will be designed by the direct management of the WWF, in partnership with KFS. The currently expanding benefit distribution system for Payment for Environmental Services provides a solid starting point for carbon credit distribution. This study showed that Naivasha is a strong case for a REDD project. If thoroughly designed, REDD offers an opportunity to achieve multiple benefits: conserve the forests, reduce additional CO2 emissions, improve biodiversity and the livelihoods of local communities, and generate revenues for WWF and the Kenya Forest Service.
Publisher or UniversityVU University Amsterdam, Institute for Environmental Studies