Working Paper
Forest Transitions and Carbon Fluxes

Global Scenarios and Policies

Forests as stocks, sinks and sources of carbon have become a vital issue in global politics, along with the Kyoto Protocol of the Framework Convention on Climate Change. This publication, encompassing nine chapters by twelve authors from six countries, is the outcome of the respective research project conducted at UNU/WIDER. As this study indicates, a very cost-efficient carbon conservation could be achieved by slowing down tropical deforestation and forest degradation. In this study, deforestation and carbon flux scenarios are modelled at the pantropical and continental levels, with special focus on Brazil, the country with the largest forest biomass of all countries of the world. Also afforestation and reforestation provide remarkable options as carbon sinks and stocks both in the south and north, as are illustrated by the case studies on Chile, Indonesia and Norway. The report also undertakes to analyse forest expansion and carbon fluxes in Europe and North America. The economics of tropical forestland use and global warming is also studied and, last but not least, international policy issues on carbon fluxes and forests in the south are reviewed. Replacing fossil fuels with woodfuels provides one policy option. Other options, including economic instruments such as taxes, offsets, and tradable permits, are also analysed.