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Estimating the costs of REDD at the country level

Pagiola, Stefano and Bosquet, Benoit (2009): Estimating the costs of REDD at the country level.

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Individual countries considering participating in a Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) mechanism need information on what it would cost them to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and how to actually deliver those emissions reductions. Estimates of global average costs provide very little guidance in this regard. This paper aims to do two things. First, it tries to clarify some very important conceptual issues. What exactly are we asking when we ask what the 'cost' of REDD is? What kinds of costs should be included? Second, it tries to highlight some of the issues involved in properly estimating the costs of REDD. Such estimates would help them to assess issues such as (i) how many emission reductions they might potentially be able to 'sell' to a REDD mechanism at given prices; (ii) how much the country would benefit from such sales; (iii) how they might be able to actually reduce deforestation so as to generate these emissions reductions; (iv) how the costs and benefits of REDD would be distributed among different groups within the country; (v) what the budgetary implications would be for government agencies.

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