Conference objectives

Land is at the centre of international debates on how to reduce carbon emissions, but land and its resources - forests, biodiversity, water, and agriculture - are also highly complex systems. Not only are land-based carbon stocks and emission rates difficult to measure and monitor, they are often owned or claimed without clear definitions of rights. This conference took a broad interdisciplinary approach to how we can obtain better knowledge on these complexities in developing countries and brought together social and natural scientists around the nexus of carbon storage, land management and property issues. While the conference specificically focused on how ‘Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation’ (REDD+) is evolving as an international mechanism for climate change mitigation, we also attracted researchers that did not work specifically on REDD+, but were engaged in theoretical or empirical work that is relevant for understanding the development and impacts of REDD+.

Key questions for the conference were: Will REDD+ actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions and do we have sufficient knowledge of carbon storage in complex land use systems to be able to address this question effectively? Can implementation be monitored adequately at different scales? What governance and property regimes emerge and how do these affect notions of citizenship? And how might REDD+ and the so-called safeguards affect people’s rights, livelihoods and biodiversity?

We invited abstracts for the conference that addressed the questions above under one or more of the following themes:

  • Measuring and monitoring carbon storage on land
  • Governance, property and control of land
  • Social and biophysical externalities of carbon storage - safeguarding livelihoods and biodiversity
  • Commodification of land and forests

The conference was organized by the I-REDD+ Project and the ProCit Network. It was funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union, The Danish Council for Independent Research | Social Sciences (FSE) and University of Copenhagen. It contributed to the Global Land Project.