Assessing the livelihood benefits to local communities from the Profafor Carbon Sequestration Project, Ecuador


M. Milne; P. Arroyo

Type of Document:
Research Report


World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)

Date of Publication:

Place of Publication:
Bogor, Indonesia


Summary: This study assesses the actual and potential livelihood impacts of PROFAFOR, a carbon sequestration project in Ecuador, in the knowledge that the AIJ phase projects did not have a sustainable development requirement, but that this was an opportunity to explore the livelihood opportunities and risks of LULUCF projects. For PROFAFOR, addressing the livelihood needs of contracted communities will help to increase the duration of the carbon sequestered.

A modified sustainable livelihoods approach and financial budget analysis were adopted to examine the local livelihood implications for communities involved in the projects. The ‘before project’ status of community activities, income sources and capital endowments (financial, environmental, human, social and physical) were evaluated to provide a ‘business as usual’ scenario. The short-term and long-term livelihood impacts of the projects were then assessed, in terms of actual and potential changes in activities, income sources and assets. Long-term financial profitability and expected revenues of community enterprises were calculated, considering best case and worst case scenarios. Primary data were obtained from 7 community workshops and four interviews on-site with individual landholders. The information was verified through interviews with the project teams, non-government organizations, government officials, research institutes and timber buyers. Financial data were collected from the project managers and independent sources.

The objectives of the study were:

1) To assess the potential of forest carbon projects to contribute to improving the livelihoods of rural communities in developing countries in the short term and long term.

2) To identify a number of constraints and opportunities both internal and external to the project that may affect the level of livelihood and financial benefits to local communities.

3) From the analysis, identify conditions and processes that could improve the probability of improving sustainable rural livelihoods through forest carbon projects.

Additional Bibliographic Information

RUPES Working Papers

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