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Targeting payments for forest carbon sequestration given ecological and economic objectives

Seong-Hoon Cho, Moonwon Soh, Burton English, T. Edward Yu and Christopher N. Boyer

Forest Policy and Economics, 2019, vol. 100, issue C, 214-226

Abstract: We identify optimal spatial targets for payments for forest carbon sequestration under the multiple objectives of maximizing forest carbon storage cost efficiency and maximizing economic impacts of payments. A further purpose is to evaluate the tradeoff between the two objectives. These objectives are used as targeting criteria in our case study of the Central and Southern Appalachian Region of the United States, a heavily forested, low-income region that could benefit from payments for forest carbon sequestration. The concave-shaped Pareto optimal frontiers between forest carbon storage and economic impacts triggered by payments provide evidence that the increase in economic impacts is relatively higher than the sacrifice in forest carbon benefits when the initial weight assigned to economic impacts is relatively lower than the initial weight assigned to forest carbon benefits and vice versa. Our projections of county-level forest carbon storage and economic impacts can help conservation agencies anticipate regional heterogeneity in forest carbon storage and economic impacts and access their tradeoffs.

Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.forpol.2018.12.003

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