Potential LULUCF climate mitigation measures can have highly variable environmental and socioeconomic impacts (see Sections 2.5.1 and 5.5), depending on the measures and the means by which they are implemented. Article 2.1(a) of the Kyoto Protocol provides an impetus for Parties to assess these impacts to determine whether and how any LULUCF climate mitigation measures carried out within their borders may contribute to national sustainable development objectives. Because countries often have very different views about what constitutes sustainable development, such national objectives might be expected to vary widely. In addition, Article 2.1(b) provides that Parties might consider whether and how to establish some common approaches to promoting the sustainable development contributions of LULUCF measures-for example, to ensure that these impacts are evaluated consistently across Parties. The Parties might also develop common approaches to ensure that LULUCF activities and projects under the Protocol are consistent with the goals and objectives of other multilateral environmental agreements (Section 126.96.36.199). For projects between countries, the Parties may also decide to assess whether potential projects are consistent with the sustainable development objectives of investor and host countries.
Regardless of whether the Parties opt for a strictly national or multinational approach to sustainable development, a system of criteria and indicators would be useful for assessing and comparing sustainable development impacts across alternative LULUCF actions. An ideal set of sustainable development indicators would feature many of the same general characteristics as an ideal accounting system: transparency, consistency, comparability, completeness, and accuracy. No comprehensive set of indicators with these characteristics currently exists for the suite of LULUCF policies and measures considered in this Special Report. Several approaches have been developed for related purposes that the Parties might adapt to gauge the sustainable development contributions of LULUCF definitions, activities, and projects undertaken to mitigate GHG emissions. This section highlights approaches that have been developed explicitly for the purposes of assessing the environmental and/or socioeconomic impacts of policies or measures undertaken at international, national, or project levels. These approaches are not mutually exclusive; several could be adapted by the Parties to be used in concert. Criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management are most directly adaptable to specific LULUCF measures at the national and project levels (Section 188.8.131.52.1).
The following sections briefly describe each approach and discuss key factors that may affect its potential application to LULUCF activities and projects. In addition, potential tools-such as environmental screens and the application of environmental impact assessments-by which selected criteria and indicators could be applied to strengthening the sustainable development contributions of LULUCF activities and/or projects are identified and evaluated. As with criteria and indicators, Parties could adopt these tools on a national or multinational basis. More specific approaches to strengthen the national and local sustainable development contributions of LULUCF projects are described in Section 5.6.
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