ABSTRACT

This final chapter summarizes the main findings of previous chapters, and it then draws overall conclusions and discuss broader implications for further research and for continued deliberations of forest sector policies and strategies for mitigating, as well as adapting to, climate change. A basic conclusion is that the data and analyses we do have suggest that carbon sequestration and storage of the forest sector can offset a significant share of the total greenhouse gas emissions of many countries or the whole world. However, existing data do not always permit consistent or comprehensive assessments of forest sector carbon policies; better inventory data on the relevant carbon pools are crucial. Meanwhile, further attention must be directed to resolving a multitude of challenges to enable the sector to live up to its expected role in offsetting and ultimately neutralizing carbon emissions on a more efficient and sustainable basis. These challenges pertain to forest tenure and governance, carbon pricing and market-based solutions, adoption of a proper term structure of discounting, alternative practices of carbon accounting and assessment, and contextualization of the impact evaluation of different programs and projects.