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Opportunity costs of carbon sequestration in a forest concession in central Africa

Ndjondo M., Gourlet-Fleury S., Manlay R., Engone Obiang N.L., Ngomanda A., Romero C., Claeys F., Picard N.. 2014. Carbon Balance and Management, 9 (4) : 33 p..

DOI: 10.1186/s13021-014-0004-3

Background: A large proportion of the tropical rain forests of central Africa undergo periodic selective logging for timber harvesting. The REDD+ mechanism could promote less intensive logging if revenue from the additional carbon stored in the forest compensates financially for the reduced timber yield. Results: Carbon stocks, and timber yields, and their associated values, were predicted at the scale of a forest concession in Gabon over a project scenario of 40 yr with reduced logging intensity. Considering that the timber contribution margin (i.e. the selling price of timber minus its production costs) varies between 10 and US$40 m?3, the minimum price of carbon that enables carbon revenues to compensate forgone timber benefits ranges between US$4.4 and US$25.9/tCO2 depending on the management scenario implemented. Conclusions: Where multiple suppliers of emission reductions compete in a REDD+ carbon market, tropical timber companies are likely to change their management practices only if very favourable conditions are met, namely if the timber contribution margin remains.

Mots-clés : forêt tropicale humide; politique de l'environnement; politique forestière; rentabilité; exploitation forestière; déboisement; dégradation de l'environnement; incitation; gaz à effet de serre; stockage; carbone; aménagement forestier; séquestration du carbone; gabon; concession

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