IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change

Forests and Sustainable Development

While the assessment in the forestry chapter identifies remaining uncertainties about the magnitude of the mitigation benefits and costs, the technologies and knowledge required to implement mitigation activities exist today. Forestry can make a significant and sustained contribution to a global mitigation portfolio, while also meeting a wide range of social, economic and ecological objectives. Important co-benefits can be gained by considering forestry mitigation options as an element of broader land-management plans.

Plantations can contribute positively, for example, to employment, economic growth, exports, renewable energy supply and poverty alleviation. In some instances, plantations may also lead to negative social impacts such as loss of grazing land and source of traditional livelihoods. Agro-forestry can produce a wide range of economic, social and environmental benefits; probably wider than large-scale afforestation. Since ancillary benefits tend to be local rather than global, identifying and accounting for them can reduce or partially compensate the costs of the mitigation measures (high agreement, medium evidence) [9.7].