Introduction to Climate Change
12. The Role of Forests and Land-Use Changes in the Kyoto Protocol
Both the Framework Convention and the Kyoto Protocol clearly contemplate that
sinks such as forests would be within the ambit of the climate regime. Most
significantly, Article 3.3 of the Kyoto Protocol allows for Parties to meet
their target level by counting the net changes in greenhouse gas emissions resulting
from human induced "afforestation, reforestation, and deforestation"
since 1990. This provision was especially unclear and open to interpretation,
and thus generated enormous debate during the post Kyoto negotiations. The Kyoto
Protocol's coverage of forests raised many difficult and controversial issues.
Afforestation, reforestation and deforestation were not defined in the Protocol,
leaving them open for a wide range of definitions that could fundamentally change
the effect of the Protocol in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.