Viewpoint: social and economic dimensions of involving savanna communities in carbon management systems
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In this paper we discuss the social, economic and institutional aspects of the development of carbon management systems within Australia's tropical savannas. Land-use values in savanna landscapes are changing as a result of changing economic markets, greater recognition of native title, and growing social demands and expectations for tourism, recreation and conservation. In addition, there is increasing interest in developing markets and policy arrangements for greenhouse gas abatement, carbon sequestration and carbon trade in savannas. We argue that for carbon management to lead to national greenhouse outcomes, attention must be paid to social, economic and institutional issues in environmental planning and policy arrangements. From an economic perspective, the financial impact of carbon management on savanna enterprises will depend on appropriate and available policy mechanisms, unit price for carbon, landscape condition, existing management strategies and abatement measurements used. Local social and cultural features of communities and regions may enhance or constrain the implementation of carbon abatement strategies, depending on how they are perceived. In terms of institutional arrangements, policies and plans must support and enable carbon management. We identify three areas that require priority investigation and adjustment: regional planning arrangements, property rights, and rules for accounting at enterprise and regional scales. We conclude that the best potential for managing for carbon will be achieved while managing for range of other natural resource management outcomes, especially where managing for carbon delivers collateral benefits to enterprises.
Australian Journal of Botany
Regional Analysis and Development