Joint implementation and forestry projects: conceptual and operational fallacies Academic Article uri icon


  • Increased human activity is causing a build-up of greenhouse gases (GHGs) which are thought to contribute to global warming. Climate change is an international environmental concern because the effects of GHG emissions will be felt throughout the world irrespective of their origin. Similarly, mitigation activities undertaken anywhere in the world have the same impact on the global environment. The Framework Convention on Climate Change, opened for signature in June 1992 during the Rio conference, seeks to address the problem of global warming at the international level. It has received widespread acceptance and has been ratified by 171 states. While the convention does not set out specific emission reduction targets, the recently adopted Kyoto Protocol sets out quantified emission limitation and reduction commitments for OECD countries and countries undergoing the process of economic transition to a market economy (Annex B parties). Annex B parties commit themselves to reduce their overall GHG emissions by at least 5 per cent below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012 . 1 Developing countries do not take on emission limitation or reduction commitments. In the first part of this article, we analyse the mechanism of joint implementation (JI) generally and in the Climate Change Convention specifically. The second part concentrates on JI projects in the forestry sector.We argue that the carbon sequestration potential of trees on which JI forestry projects are predicated has not been proven. Indeed, in the long term, these projects have a very limited effect on carbon sequestration considering that woody biomass eventually decays or burns.We also argue that JI forestry projects often conflict with local and international environmental priorities. The third part addresses concerns with JI at the international level. It focuses on reordering JI priorities and fitting development concerns in JI.

publication date

  • 1998


  • Climate change
  • Environment
  • Global warming
  • Greenhouse gases

start page

  • 393


  • 74


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