Carbon Forestry and Sociospatial Difference: An Examination of Two Carbon Offset Projects Among Indigenous Smallholders in Costa Rica
University of Maryland Baltimore County
May 27, 2014
Society and Natural Resources, Forthcoming
This paper examines why some kinds of households are positioned to take advantage of carbon offset projects that target secondary forest fallow. It does so by assessing the results of two offset projects targeting this land use in the Cabécar Indigenous Reserve, Costa Rica. For one project, it finds that a small group of male landowners have most of the land in fallow, however, the presence of this land use is subsidized by the productivity of female land in cash crop production. Thus, the ability of male-owned land assets to become a carbon offset is supported by land use on female-owned land. In the second project, payments were targeted toward land in the area’s fertile floodplain, and resulted in an exclusion of some households from the area’s dominant livelihood activity: cash crop production. These results demonstrate the difficult tradeoffs involved in designing equitable and attractive offset projects.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 19
Keywords: carbon offsets, ecosystem services, smallholder livelihoods, gender, development, conservation, agroforestry, household surveysAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: May 28, 2014
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