RIVM logo, National Institute for Public Healthe and the Enviroment. Minsty of Health, Welfare and Sport

Not to Sink: Bringing the Tropical Fores into the Climate and Other Global Conventions, without Needing the 'Sink' concept

Geen Sink: het inzetten van tropische bossen in het 'Climate and Other Global Conventions', zonder gebruik te maken van het Sink concept


This report aims to determine the function of tropical forestry in the climate and other global conventions. Because the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol is the major instrument linking the developing countries (hence the tropical forest) to the climate issue, CDM will be a major focus. First, the general feasibility of plantations as carbon storage fasilities (i.e sinks) is examined. Formal constraints concerning permanence, leakage and baseline calculation are recognized. Furthermore, the external effects in the tropics are deemed predominanatly negative. Plantations included under CDM as sinks may be a hindrance for achieving sustainable development and may contradict other international conventions such as CBD and CCD. Subsequently, the report explores two alternative implementations of forests in the mitigation of GHGs. Both are based on output financing. The first concerns using tropical plantations are sources of renewable (biomass) energy or energy saving material. A framework is developed for operating this 'zero pollution' contribution to the global climate, which is compatible with the CDM criteria, in CDM. Doing so, no substantial need exists any more to operate CDM through the sinks concept and with that, key problems surrounding the sink concept are avoided. Second, a multi-convention global facility is proposed to perserve existing forests. The key pronciple her is that net fores benefit producing countries recieve disbursements from net fores benefit consuming countries on the basis of standing forest per hectare per year. The facility can not be placed in the structure of CDM and disbursements may be based on several global benefits next to carbon storage, such as safeguarding biodiversity, preventing desrtification and preserving cultural diversity.

Home / Documents and publications / Not to Sink: Bringing the Tropical Fores into the Climate and Other Global Conventions, without Needing the 'Sink' concept

RIVM Committed to health and sustainability