Assessing the roles of community forestry in climate change mitigation and adaptation: A case study from Nepal

Pandey, S. S., et al., 2016. Forest Ecology and Management

Original research (primary data)
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Integration of the mitigation and adaptation roles of forests is important in addressing climate change issues. Community forests (CFs) have capacity to contribute in both roles as local communities are collectively working to improve forests and to fulfil their own basic forest product needs. Nowadays, an incentive mechanism for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, conservation of forests, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks in forests (REDD+) is emerging and already has received considerable attention in achieving climate change mitigation whereas there has been little analysis of its potential contribution to adaptation objectives, particularly at the community level. Therefore the overarching goal of this study was to analyse CFs from a mitigation and adaptation perspective. This study assesses 105 CFs covering a range of forest types managed by socially diverse communities of Nepal. Two point carbon data (2010 and 2013) was analysed to investigate differences in carbon stocks in these forests following the introduction of a REDD+ pilot program in Nepal. Similarly, a document review and focused group discussions were organised to evaluate the livelihood support and adaptation potential of pilot REDD+ CFs. This study found that community forest user groups (CFUGs) have increased forest carbon stocks and that the pilot REDD+ projects are also delivering livelihood benefits which ultimately will help adaptation to adverse climatic conditions. However, the motivation for communities to realise REDD+ carbon incentives may reduce the food supplement capacity of forests by limiting vegetation diversity.

Case studies

Basic information

  • Case ID: INT-049-1
  • Intervention type: Mixed created/non-created habitats
  • Intervention description:

    community forests under REDD+: reducing extraction of forest resources by promoting alternative energy means, carrying out plantation activities in sparse forest areas and uncultivated private land, raising awareness on sustainable harvesting practices, guard- ing to control illegal harvesting and implementing income generat- ing activities at poor households; distribution of alter- native energy sources (improved cooking stoves and biogas plant as alternative of household energy); control dam- age due to forest fires

  • Landscape/sea scape ecosystem management: Yes
  • Climate change impacts Effect of Nbs on CCI Effect measures
    Other climate impact  Positive qualitative assessment from interviews on perceived improvements to regulation of microclimate (changes in temp/precipitation regimes)
    Loss of other ecosystem goods  Positive qualitative assessment from interviews on access to wood/non-wood forest products
  • Approach implemented in the field: Yes
  • Specific location:

    forests are located in three watersheds—namely, Kayerkhola (271–1618 m asl), Ludikhola (418–1401 m asl) and Charnawati (652–3238masl)

  • Country: Nepal
  • Habitat/Biome type: Tropical and subtropical forests | Montane/Alpine |
  • Issue specific term: Other


  • Notes on intervention effectivness: effectiveness based people's perceptions of intervention outcomes since it was implemented AC 8.23.2019 - similar to art-085, this article is about a REDD+ program that includes a mixture of approaches Climatic impact – cfs have helped regulate weather patterns/temperature and rainfall at the local level (perceptions); regulating microclimate also note - CFs also increase adaptive capacity by providing NFTP livelioods/income -> social security to natural disasters…the local communities stated that this helps cope with limited food availability due to natural disasters. (page 405)
  • Is the assessment original?: Yes
  • Broadtype of intervention considered: Not applicable
  • Compare effectivness?: No
  • Compared to the non-NBS approach: Not applicable
  • Report greenhouse gas mitigation?: Yes
  • Impacts on GHG: Mixed
  • Assess outcomes of the intervention on natural ecosystems: No
  • Impacts for the ecosystem: Not reported
  • Ecosystem measures:
  • Assess outcomes of the intervention on people: Yes
  • Impacts for people: Positive
  • People measures: social capital livelihood opportunities access to and sharing of food supplements access to wood/non-wood forest products
  • Considers economic costs: Yes
  • Economic appraisal conducted: No
  • Economic appraisal described:
  • Economic costs of alternative considered: No
  • Compared to an alternative: Not reported

Evaluation methodology

  • Type of data: Qualitative
  • Is it experimental: No
  • Experimental evalution done: Not applicable
  • Non-experimental evalution done: Empirical case study
  • Study is systematic: