Archive for news and current activities



Funding for KTGAL came to an end in December 2009 but the final years of the project have been very productive both in terms of publications (see Resources and Publications) and policy impact. We now have data from between 6 and 3 years from 30 sites in East and West Africa, and from the Himalayan zone, and data from four sites in PNG for two years. This shows that in 90% of the cases examined, there were significant increases in biomass as a result of CBFM, and that even in cases where there were losses, these tended to be 'one-off ' with stocks increasing again after a minor perturbation. In most sites, it was estimated that the carbon gain due to forest enhancement was at least double the gain from reduced deforestation and degradation which from a policy point of view is an important support for the inclusion of foreest enhancement in REDD+. A document entitled ¨How much carbon does community forest management save¨ summarises the findings in this regard; it can be downloaded from Resources and Publications, section 1.

The project also showed that communities' carbon stock estimates were as reliable and accurate as those of experts and professionals, but could be made a much lower costs (one third to one quarter, in the long run).

The project has also shown that the optimal model for most communities is a management system in which extraction of forest products (at sustainable levels) is combined with carbon sequestration. Managing the forest solely for carbon leads to high losses of utility and will not be attractive for the community unless carbon credits can be sold for unrealistically high prices.

During this period presentations were made at CoP14 (Poznan, December 2008), at SBSTA in Bonn (June 2009) and in a parallel event at CoP15 (Copenhagen, December 2009).

Phase 4 of the project was approved in June 2008 and fieldwork has continued in 4 locations in Tanzania, 4 in Senegal, 5 in Guinea Bissau, 1 in Mali, 9 in India, and 3 in Nepal. A number of sites are planned for research in Papua New Guinea. All these sites are areas where communities have already been managing their forests for some time and the primary purpose of the field work is to assess (i) the amount of carbon that accumulates under such management (ii) the ability of communities to make carbon stock inventories (iii) the costs of making such inventories and (iv) the opportunity costs of managing these forests. In some of the locations control sites in unmanaged forest have been measured for comparison. Preliminary analysis of the carbon data indicates that areas of dry forest (rainfall 700-1200mm) accumulated carbon at rates of 0.2 -1.5 tons standing carbon per year (about 1 - 5 tons CO2 equivalent), while our mountain forest sites (rainfall 1000 - 15000mm) accumulated at 1 - 3.5 tons (about 3.5 - 12 tons CO2).

Since the last phase of the project, it has become clear that forest management is unlikely to be taken up as climate policy under CDM but rather become an element within REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation). Community forest management is particularly suited to reducing forest degradation and reversing this through forest enhancement. On the policy side therefore we have been working to support REDD policy development and to ensure that forest enhancement is included in the international agreement. The project has been very active in international fora on REDD, participating in CoP13 in Bali and in the Forestry Day and presenting preliminary findings at various side events as well as a new book describing project results in the Himalayan region. Several papers on degradation and forest enhancement have been prepared and published, including two Policy Pieces in the African Journal of Ecology, and a brochure for policy makers called "In REDD, the second D is for Degradation". These can be downloaded from the Resources section of this website.


Other recent news


The KTGAL project meeting was held on June 9th and 10th during the twenty-eighth sessions of the "Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice" (SBSTA) and the "Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change" in Bonn during 4-13 June 2008.

KTGAL's project was mentioned on the "UNEPs Annual report", if you want to look this information follow this link.

If you would like to be on a mailing list to receive updates on progress of this project, please contact the manager, Laura Franco (


CoP13 Nairobi

The project was represented at CoP13 in Bali in December 2007 and some presentations were made at the Forestry day (8 December).


The picture here below was taken during a work visit to the University of Twente on 26th August 2006 with the Minister of Cooperation for Development in The Netherlands and part of the KTGAL's project members.

Agnes van Ardenne, Minister of Cooperation for Development in The Netherlands stands on the right side. She talks with Margaret Skutsch, Scientific Director of Kyoto's project (left) and some researchers involved. They are from left to right: Bhaskar Karky (Nepal), Rupa Basnet (Nepal) and E. Zahabu (Tanzania).


CoP12 Nairobi
The project was represented at the CoP12 meeting in Nairobi from November 6 -17, 2006, with an Exhibit in cooperation with ENDA.

At this time the project was actively engaged in the policy debate on reducing emissions from deforestation, which was formally started at CoP11 in Montreal. It is expected that a decision on this matter will be taken by CoP13/MoP3 at the end of 2007. This means that there will be an immediate need to develop methodologies for creating adequate deforestation baselines and for monitoring change in carbon density as well as changes in forest areas. The challenge is to find methodologies that are reliable, accurate, and inexpensive. The aim of the K:TGAL programme is to show that measurements by local people of the carbon content of their forests can form an important part of such methodologies, complementing 'top-down' measurements through remote sensing and modeling, and enabling ground-truthing to be carried out at low cost.
The project partners held a meeting from 1-4 March in Mali, hosted by the Mali Folk Centre, at which plans were made for the period up to the end of 2006.
Among other outputs, it is hoped that one or two of the CBFM projects with which we are working will be submitted to the Biocarbon Fund during this period.

Side Event at CoP10
The 10th Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC (CoP10) was held last year in Buenos Aires (6-17th December) and the Kyoto: Think Global, Act Local programme hosted a side event to explain the purpose of the research and the findings so far. Case study material was presented from the programme sites in Tanzania, Uttranchal, Nepal and Senegal. The date for this side event was 17th December and a report about it appears in the Earth News Bulletin
For copies of the presentations you can click here.

National Workshop Tanzania
A national workshop was held at the Amani Nature Reserve in Tanzania October 15 and 16. The research was presented by team members and discussed by participants who were interested in the idea of 'carbon forestry' and how their own work in forestry could relate to, and benefit from, carbon payments. Cooperative agreements were made with a number of on-going forest and environmental conservation programmes. For more information, please contact the regional team directors, George Jambiya and Hussein Sosovele.

Himalayan States working towards internal carbon market
The research in Uttaranchal by CHEA (Central Himalayan Environmental Association) under the Kyoto;Think Global, Act Local programme has raised considerable interest among a number of the Indian Himalayan states as regards the possibility of claiming financial rewards for eco-services, such as carbon sequestration, within India itself. The mountain areas, it is argued, protect the densely populated Gangetic plains areas and provide water, carbon storage and biodiversity for the benefit of this greater population. Dr. R.S. Tolia, Chief Secretary fo the Government of Uttaranchal, included a chapter called "Think Global, Act Local: Van Panchyats for Carbon Rewards" in his recent book "Patwari, Gharat and Ch'ai: Essays on Making and Shaping a Self-Reliant Uttaranchal" (Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh Publishers, Dehra Dun, 2004). This led to a conference of the Ministers of the Indian Himalayan states, which was held at Dehra Dun October 11 and 12 2004, at which Prof. S.P Singh of CHEA presented the ideas behind the research. This was apparently very well received and a follow up meeting is planned. For further information please contact Prof. Singh at his office.