Carbon pools and poverty peaks in Lao PDR

Hett, Cornelia; Heinimann, Andreas; Epprecht, Michael; Messerli, Peter; Hurni, Kaspar (2012). Carbon pools and poverty peaks in Lao PDR. Mountain Research and Development, 32(4), pp. 390-399. Boulder, Colo.: International Mountain Society 10.1659/MRD-JOURNAL-D-12-00065.1

mrd-journal-d-12-00065%2E1.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution (CC-BY).

Download (10MB) | Preview

Reducing Emissions from
Deforestation and forest
Degradation and
enhancing forest carbon
stocks in developing
countries (REDD+) is
heavily promoted in Laos.
REDD+ is often perceived
as an opportunity to
jointly address climate
change and poverty and, therefore, could come timely for Laos
to combine its prominent national target of poverty eradication
with global climate mitigation efforts. Countrywide planning of
the right approaches to REDD+ combined with poverty
alleviation requires knowledge of the spatial combination of
poverty and carbon stocks at the national level. This study
combined spatial information on carbon stored in vegetation
and on poverty and created carbon-poverty typologies for the
whole country at the village level. We found that 11% of the
villages of Laos have high to very high average village-level
carbon stock densities and a predominantly poor population.
These villages cover 20% of the territory and are characterized
by low population density. Shifting cultivation areas in the
northwestern parts of the country have a higher carbon
mitigation potential than areas in the central and eastern
highlands due to a more favorable climate. Finally, we found
that in Laos the majority (58%) of poor people live in areas
with low carbon stock densities without major potential to
store carbon. Accordingly, REDD+ cannot be considered a
core instrument for poverty alleviation. The carbon-poverty
typologies presented here provide answers to basic questions
related to planning and managing of REDD+. They could serve
as a starting point for the design of systems to monitor both
socioeconomic and environmental development at the
national level.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability > Unit Critical Sustainability Studies (CSS)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability > Unit Land Systems and Sustainable Land Management (LS-SLM)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability
10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Hett, Cornelia; Heinimann, Andreas; Messerli, Peter and Hurni, Kaspar


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology
900 History > 910 Geography & travel




International Mountain Society




Users 124 not found.

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:43

Last Modified:

12 Nov 2015 12:37

Publisher DOI:


Web of Science ID:




URI: (FactScience: 225454)

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback