A Research Agenda for Low Carbon Transition and Gender Equity in the Global South - Forestry and Land Use

1 April 2023


All countries now face enormous challenges posed by climate change. The consequences of continued greenhouse gas emissions are dire, particularly for countries in the Global South that are both more affected and more vulnerable to climate change at the same time as they have less capacity to adapt (AfDB, 2022). The realization that a low-carbon transition needs to be implemented also in countries in the Global South is well established and is also reflected in most countries’ ratification of the Paris Agreement and in their Nationally Determined Contributions. In effect, most countries in the Global South are now confronted with the fastest and most dramatic transformation of their economies that they have ever experienced – or at least they would need to be. 

The low-carbon transition in the Global South needs to be guided by research since such a transition is an inherently knowledge-intensive process. Therefore, the Sustainable Inclusive Economies (SIE) Division of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has identified this area as particularly important to support. This report is commissioned by SIE as part of a bigger initiative to develop an actionable research agenda that IDRC can support to achieve a low-carbon transition with gender equity in the Global South. 

Forestry and Land Use is part of the Research Agenda for Low Carbon Transition and Gender Equity in the Global South series of papers. The consortium that is working on this series of papers is global and consists of 60 researchers from a multitude of universities and institutions. This particular paper was written by Yuanyuan Yi and Jintao Xu from Peking University, and Randall Bluffstone from Portland State University. Alejandro Lopez Feldman of the EfD Global Hub supported the authors. 

This paper examines forestry and land use through its potential as a nature-based solution (NbS) to climate change mitigation and adaptation. After describing the concept of NbS in the context of climate change, the paper looks at the roles that forestry and land use can play in a low-carbon transition. We hope to receive constructive comments on this draft paper from IDRC, our networks and external scholars and practitioners. We will then revise the paper for validation by policy makers and senior civil servants in the Global South. Based on the reviews and validations we plan to prepare final versions of both the paper and the accompanying High-Level Research Agenda by March 2023. The ambition is that these papers will be useful both for donors and research institutions in supporting an even greater contribution by research to a much needed low-carbon transition with gender equity in the Global South in this crucial Decade of Action. 

Gunnar Köhlin 

Director, Environment for Development 

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Publication | 26 April 2023