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Economics of forest restoration as a carbon mitigation and nature-based solution in South Asia

The 6th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed that forest restoration is expected to help limit global warming and that restoration is biophysically feasible for up to two billion hectares of forests in low- and middle-income countries. The World Leader’s Summit at COP26 announced its first major agreement in which 105 countries covering 85% of the world’s forests committed to act on reducing and reversing deforestation. In South Asia, tree planting and other forms of forest restoration have been conducted by most countries for many years. This has been done primarily to increase the production of timber and non-timber forest products to support livelihoods but also to conserve soil and water resources and biodiversity. However, the economics of forest restoration as a carbon-mitigation option and its distributional impacts on gender and marginalized groups remain poorly understood in the region and globally.

This research will examine the economics of different types of forest restoration programs (both plantations and natural regeneration) as nature-based carbon-mitigation options in South Asia. It will explore the impacts of such restoration on rural livelihoods, including distributional effects related to gender and to marginalized communities; examine the effectiveness of financing mechanisms for restoring forests; and, based on these findings, propose appropriate institutional and financial arrangements for scaling up forest restoration in South Asia.

The research will be conducted in four South Asian countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan. Project outputs will include journal articles on topics related to economics of forest and land restoration and nature-based solutions. Several policy briefs will be produced identifying policy-oriented entry points, to be done in collaboration with national stakeholders and researchers. The research will generate knowledge products and provide an evidence base for informing policies related to forest restoration in the region. It will also develop the research capacity of several junior to mid-career researchers who will be able to conduct similar research in the future.

Project ID
Project Status
36 months
IDRC Officer
Bhim Adhikari
Total Funding
CA$ 1,500,000.00
Institution Country
Project Leader
Mani Nepal
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development/Centre international de mise en valeur intégrée des montagnes

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