FAR EAST: Cost of carbon credits must be raised: study finds
A new study has found that increasing the cost of carbon credits is required to make tropical forest conservation a viable alternative to the spread of rubber plantations.
Researchers in the new study argue that increasing payments for carbon credits is needed to create incentives for the protection of tropical forests in Southeast Asia, including in Cambodia, against further deforestation to make way for rubber.
In a statement, the researchers of the study, published in Nature Communications, say payments are currently too low and “do not pay enough to compete with profits of rubber plantations”.
Payments for carbon credits currently range from USD 5 to USD 13 per ton of carbon dioxide on carbon markets. Prices ranging from USD 30 to USD 51 per ton would be needed to make conservation economically competitive with converting forest into rubber plantations, they found.
“To defend forests from rubber, either carbon prices must be increased, or other strategies are needed, such as corporate zero-deforestation pledges, and governmental regulation and enforcement of forest protection,” the study reads.
In Cambodia, rubber cultivation areas increased by 175 % between 2009 and 2013, for a total of 328,800 hectares. By April 2017, more than 430,000 hectares had been converted to cultivate rubber.
Source: Daily “The Phnom Penh Post”, Phnom Penh; 6 Mar 2018
(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)