Communities willing to mitigate climate change — with a little help, research shows

9 July 2014

MONTPELLIER, France — Local communities are willing and able to take part in tree-based climate change mitigation activities — provided that they receive some assistance, new research in Brazil and Indonesia shows.

In Brazil’s eastern Amazon region, researcher Émilie Coudel has been studying compliance with legislation that compels landowners to maintain 50 percent to 80 percent of natural vegetation on their property, or restore tree cover to that level if the forest has become degraded.

Large-scale farm owners tend to have difficulty complying, because they need larger pastures for activities such as cattle ranching. That is not the case with small-scale family farmers: Those surveyed by researchers were often unaware about the legal requirements, but they were happy to implement them once they found out, said Coudel, a scientist with the French agronomic research institute CIRAD and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

“Many smallholders would like to reforest, but they say they lack the knowledge and the resources to do so,” Coudel told the recent Resilience 2014 conference in Montpellier, France.

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