Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry

Other reports in this collection

5.6.4. Transfer and Local Adaptation of Technology

For LULUCF projects, technology adaptation, diffusion, and transfer requires a broad definition. Such transfer may include sustainable forest management practices; forest conservation and protected area management systems; silvicultural practices for afforestation and reforestation programs; genetically superior planting material; efficient harvesting, processing, and end-use technologies; indigenous knowledge of forest conservation; and low-tillage agriculture and ruminant management practices (Ravindranath et al., 2000).

Most LULUCF projects require the transfer of such technology. The absence of these technologies may frustrate delivery of the mitigation and developmental benefits associated with them (Sathaye et al., 1999). Poorly designed LULUCF projects may lead to the importation of inadequate or inappropriate technologies into recipient countries. In agroforestry projects, for example, inappropriate selection of species and crop timbering processes or machinery may fail to bring out the full potential of associated co-benefits, which depend on local biophysical, social, cultural, and organizational factors (Lemaster, 1995).

Current and emerging pathways and mechanisms for technology transfer through LULUCF GHG mitigation projects have several limitations-namely, limited financial resources, inadequate information on costs and potential benefits of projects, limited host country technical capacity, absence of policies and institutions to process and evaluate mitigation projects, and long gestation periods. In addition, the forest sector faces land-use regulation and other policies that favor conversion to other land uses, such as agriculture and cattle ranching. Insecure land tenure and subsidies that favor agriculture or livestock are among the most important barriers to ensuring sustainable forest management and sustainability of GHG mitigation (Ravindranath et al., 2000).

LULUCF projects have surmounted some of these barriers through means that include extensive capacity building and establishing institutions at the local level (e.g., NKCAP, Bolivia; Scolel-Te, Mexico); development of improved forest management systems and joint ventures between private companies and local organizations (RIL, Malaysia); and systems of financial incentives that directly benefit farmers by increasing the relative cost-effectiveness of forestry options (Costa Rica Joint Implementation Program) (see Box 5-1). LULUCF projects in non-Annex I countries have the potential to fund improved technologies that can yield environmental benefits by raising agricultural productivity through the transfer of irrigation or management practices; increasing milling efficiency; improving silvicultural practices; promoting sustainable forest management (Brown, 1998), as in Senegal (Box 5-6); or-where LULUCF projects involve biofuel production-supporting energy sector development that "leap-frogs" the fossil fuel stage, moving directly to sustainable energy development (Read, 1999).

Box 5-6. Technology Transfer and Capacity-Building in an Agroforestry Project in Senegal
Enda Syspro, an international institution, has developed an ecologically sustainable agroforestry practice in Senegal. This system involves planting hedges in the boundary of the fields with drip irrigation to produce various crops and vegetables for local markets and exports. This type of project improves food security which has been considered the primary concern of African countries at the 1999 Abidjan, Ivory Coast, meeting for climate change. The agroforestry project not only reduces GHG emissions (by avoiding deforestation, sequestering carbon in hedges and soils, and replacing fossil fuels with sustainably harvested firewood), it also improves soil fertility and reduces soil erosion. The project maintains biodiversity by reducing deforestation and fragmentation of the landscape. By reducing the need for water for irrigation, it helps to reduce vulnerability to climate change in the Sahelian countries. A training center has been set up for Senegal and Sahelian countries to replicate such farming systems. Various high-technology agricultural activities, including biotechnology transfer, have been developed in Enda Spyro to improve food security and to measure carbon sequestration. Today, more than 1,000 ha of such agroforestry systems have been established in Senegal.

Other reports in this collection