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Rethinking forest carbon assessments to account for policy institutions

Macintosh, Andrew; Keith, Heather; Lindenmayer, David B

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There has been extensive debate about whether the sustainable use of forests (forest management aimed at producing a sustainable yield of timber or other products) results in superior climate outcomes to conservation (maintenance or enhancement of conservation values without commercial harvesting). Most of the relevant research has relied on consequential life-cycle assessment (LCA), with the results tending to show that sustainable use has lower net greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions than...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorMacintosh, Andrew
dc.contributor.authorKeith, Heather
dc.contributor.authorLindenmayer, David B
dc.date.accessioned2016-06-14T23:21:07Z
dc.identifier.issn1758-678X
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/103729
dc.description.abstractThere has been extensive debate about whether the sustainable use of forests (forest management aimed at producing a sustainable yield of timber or other products) results in superior climate outcomes to conservation (maintenance or enhancement of conservation values without commercial harvesting). Most of the relevant research has relied on consequential life-cycle assessment (LCA), with the results tending to show that sustainable use has lower net greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions than conservation in the long term. However, the literature cautions that results are sensitive to forest- and market-related contextual factors: the carbon density of the forests, silvicultural and wood processing practices, and the extent to which wood products and forest bioenergy displace carbon-intensive alternatives. Depending on these issues, conservation can be better for the climate than sustainable use. Policy institutions are another key contextual factor but, so far, they have largely been ignored. Using a case study on the Southern Forestry Region (SFR) of New South Wales (NSW), Australia, we show how policy institutions can affect the assessed outcomes from alternative forest management strategies. Our results highlight the need for greater attention to be paid to policy institutions in forest carbon research.
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherNature Publishing Group
dc.sourceNature Climate Change
dc.titleRethinking forest carbon assessments to account for policy institutions
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume5
dc.date.issued2015
local.identifier.absfor050202 - Conservation and Biodiversity
local.identifier.absfor070502 - Forestry Biomass and Bioproducts
local.identifier.ariespublicationu4279067xPUB1478
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationMacintosh, Andrew, ANU College of Law, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationKeith, Heather, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationLindenmayer, David, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue2015
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage946
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage952
local.identifier.doi10.1038/NCLIMATE2695
local.identifier.absseo960605 - Institutional Arrangements for Environmental Protection
local.identifier.absseo960699 - Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation not elsewhere classified
dc.date.updated2016-06-14T09:00:43Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-84942163876
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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