Documentation on ‘Agroforestry systems as CER providers: an analysis for the Peruvian Amazon region’ by IIAP

Almost half of all Peru’s greenhouse gas emissions come from forestry, and other land use or land use changes. These activities also contribute significantly to the country’s economic growth and development.

Global efforts to encourage clean development in developing countries includes efforts to stimulate the preservation of existing forests, and rehabilitation of degraded ones or the reforestation of abandoned areas after a cropping period, through paying for the forests’ carbon sequestration properties.

A policy brief (see here) considers the findings of a modelling process carried out by the Instituto de Investigación de la Amazonía Peruana (IIAP) team, which compares the economic value of timber felling practices in agroforestry plots in Peru, with the potential financial benefits of using global carbon trading mechanisms to compensate the country for projects which enable reforestation, afforestation, using agroforestry plantations. This could be done through small-scale re-forestation as agroforestry projects. The full report can be downloaded here.

The modelling uses specific definitions for what constitutes an agroforestry plantation and analyses tree-felling data from the 1950s to calculate the carbon-banking potential of timber planted in agroforestry projects in the Peruvian amazon forests area.

The research also reflects the analysis of one such project in areas close to the Iquitos-Nauta road, in the northeast Peruvian Amazon, to demonstrate viability, context and potential challenges.

Findings show that if prices of the ‘certified emissions reduction’ units, or CERs, are low, it is only worthwhile to keep trees in such projects standing for 15 years. Thereafter, the income generated by these CERs would not compensate against the income lost from communities not being able to sell the timber products.

However if the global carbon stock market kept the value of CERs at 12 Euros per CER, as they were in 2010, it might be viable to preserve trees for 30 years. This would be enough incentive for regional and local government to invest in small scale agroforestry or forest plantation related projects.

The detailed calculations are provided below as PDF files.