This paper explores the role of REDD+ programs in promoting community led preservation and restoration of forests in the Himalayan region of India. As there often exists a direct conflict between generating carbon credits through forest conservation and forestry-based livelihood sustenance activities, we consider the role of cooking gas subsidy in reducing communities' reliance on forests. Findings indicate that a price of 13 USD per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent can induce a switch away from fuelwood to lpg based cooking and promote carbon sequestration. However, for such an incentive to work, a community's combined earnings from non-timber forest products, farm income and livestock-based earnings also play an important role. Curtailing access to forests can reduce forestry-based incomes, which in turn, would require a higher carbon price incentive. If no subsidy is provided, carbon price would need to be increased to 27 USD per ton for a complete switch away from fuelwood consumption. Finally, afforestation in degraded lands can be successfully undertaken by the community when restoration costs are low at 2000 INR per ha. However, restoration costs exceeding 10,000 INR per ha or high forest fire risks are not conducive to community led restoration efforts even with the REDD+ incentives.
- forest restoration
- deforestation in Uttarakhand
- LPG subsidy
- fuelwood collection and deforestation