CI is building capacity for future projects at new sites and empowering local communities to have a role in – and benefit from – these efforts.
Supporting current forest carbon initiatives
CI has been a pioneer in the development of innovative forest carbon initiatives
– including both REDD+ and reforestation/restoration projects – and currently has a portfolio of more than 20 sites in various stages of development. Along with partners, our scientists have played a key role in developing this portfolio by identifying potential sites for forest carbon initiatives and providing technical support throughout the design and implementation process to achieve tangible, permanent emissions reductions.
Specific activities include:
- Historical deforestation analyses: determining the location and magnitude of past deforestation in and around a particular site;
- Estimation of carbon stocks: calculating the carbon storage capacity of each of our existing and potential sites;
- Future land-use change modeling: predicting the location and rate of future deforestation;
- REDD+ baseline development: determining reference levels of CO2 emissions without REDD+ interventions;
- Emissions reductions calculations: identifying how much emissions will be reduced through REDD+ interventions; and
- Testing and monitoring: testing various methodologies for REDD+ and creating monitoring protocols for existing projects.
Preparing for future forest carbon initiatives
Since 2007, CI has delivered climate and forest-carbon related trainings and dialogue workshops in more than 15 countries for more than 800 participants. Currently, our training staff delivers four programs, including a training course on forest carbon project development; a national-level "REDD+ Readiness" workshop; an introductory-level training for indigenous and local community leaders; and a "Training of Trainers" course on the basics of climate change and REDD+ that prepares local nonprofits and indigenous organizations to expand training capacity in their own communities.
OSIRIS: Software to simulate REDD+ policies
OSIRIS (the Open-Source Impacts of REDD Incentives Spreadsheet) is a web-based, transparent economic modeling tool that assesses the impact of REDD+ policies on forest cover and CO2 emissions, as well as the economic costs and benefits of emissions reductions. It also functions as a decision-support tool that enables governments to compare a variety of alternative policy approaches for REDD+. The tool promises to help world leaders design the most effective, efficient and equitable international REDD+ policy framework.
LEARN MORE: CI's OSIRIS Database: A new climate tool
In addition, using the OSIRIS model, CI scientists can now explore how different REDD+ designs would affect biodiversity conservation, poverty alleviation and the provision of ecosystem services. Examining the effects of different scenarios can help decision-makers in forested countries craft effective national-level rules for REDD+.
Understanding vulnerability and adaptive capacity
CI scientists and local community groups are working together to build awareness of the expected climate change impacts on local livelihoods and the need to plan for adaptation at the community scale. Through geographically-focused research on climate change vulnerability, we are incorporating local knowledge and practice to identify the most promising approaches that can build local resilience to impacts. These activities include:
- Identifying community risks from climate change
- Identifying the current role and potential of ecosystem-based approaches for adaptation
- Considering various livelihood options that can enhance local resilience to changing environments)
- Modeling future land-use change as driven by climate change, and the potentially negative effects of hard-engineered adaptation responses (e.g. dams) on ecosystems