By switching to dark mode you can reduce the energy consumption of our digital service.

Forests and Climate Change Toolbox

Forests and Climate Change Toolbox
Forests and Climate Change Toolbox


The Forests and Climate Change Toolbox has been developed by CIFOR and the World Agroforestry Centre to build understanding and technical proficiency on issues of climate change and forests including mitigation, adaptation, carbon accounting and markets, and biofuels.

This weADAPT article summarises the material provided on CIFOR’s website, including the 6 topics covered by the tool and links to further resources. A pdf presentation of the tool is available as a featured download in the right-hand column. Access the presentation files and find further information for full references, or to quote text via the Forests and Climate Change Toolbox webpage .

Toolbox content

Topic 1 – Integrating climate change into forestry

This presentation is an overview of the linkages between climate change and forests. It introduces ways to address climate change in existing forestry programmes, provides a brief introduction to mitigation and adaptation, and discusses climate change policies and carbon markets. You will learn about the carbon cycle at the global scale, the difference between stocks and fluxes, and why forests are important for adaptation and adaptation is important for forests.

The presentation discusses the ways that tropical forests have been included in climate change policies. It also introduces the Kyoto Protocol, the Clean Development Mechanism, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD), and various carbon markets.

Finally, a group exercise is designed to shape a conceptual framework to include climate change in forestry programmes as well as define the links between forestry programmes and climate change.

Topic 2 – Climate change and forests – exploring the interlinkages

Topic 2 provides an overview of the interlinkages in the complex relationship between forests and climate change. You will learn about this relationship through narration, notes, charts and graphs, examples and quizzes. Following an introduction to the topic, you will learn about integrating climate change into forestry through mitigation and adaptation measures. A final group exercise involves creating a conceptual framework to integrate climate change into forestry programmes.

Section A: A brief introduction to climate change and forests

Section B: Integrating climate change into forestry: mitigation

Section C: Integrating climate change into forestry: adaptation

Section D: Integrating climate change into forestry: exercise on a conceptual framework

Topic 3 – All you need to know about adaptation

Adaptation is important for development. In this presentation, you will learn about how adaptation can be mainstreamed into development and about various adaptation policies at global and national levels. You will also be introduced to ecosystem services and how they contribute to human well being. The important linkages between ecosystem services and adaptation to climate change are explored. Examples are given of how to mainstream forests into adaptation policies. The impacts of climate change on natural forests and tree plantations are being managed through adaptation. You will learn how this is being done in Honduras, Finland and the Philippines.

Section A: Introduction to adaptation

Section B: Forests for adaptation

Section C: Adaptation for forests

Section D: Adaptation: examples and case studies

Topic 4 – Why is carbon counting important?

Carbon accounting is the cornerstone of the “bookkeeping” of forest carbon stocks. As such, it plays a key role in national carbon management schemes – such as the national reporting of emissions and sinks under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – and in carbon trading. In this presentation, you will be introduced to carbon accounting and learn about some quick and simple steps for measuring and monitoring carbon stocks in a forestry project. You will also learn about field measurements, models used to estimate carbon pools in forests, and monitoring methods.

Section A: Carbon accounting: introduction

Section B: Carbon accounting: quick steps

Section C: Carbon accounting: field measurements

Section D: Forest carbon calculator

Section E: Carbon accounting: modelling

Section F: Carbon accounting: monitoring

Topic 5 – Climate change mitigation mechanisms, markets and projects

Many forest activities can contribute to climate change mitigation. For example, by increasing carbon stocks, conserving existing stocks by reducing deforestation, and reducing emissions caused by forest activities by using less energy or fertilisers in forest operations. In addition, biomaterials and bioenergy can be substituted for greenhouse gas-intensive material or energy. This presentation introduces you to mitigation mechanisms and markets and the concept of Payment for Ecosystem Services. You will learn about the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD), as well as the principle of voluntary markets. Several projects are showcased, particularly in section E.

Section A: Introduction to mitigation mechanisms and markets

Section B: Introduction to payments for ecosystem services (PES)

Section C: Forest and carbon mechanisms: major issues

Section D: The Clean Development Mechanism: overview

Section E: The Clean Development Mechanism: in depth

Section F: Example of an afforestation/reforestation Clean Development Mechanism project in Sirsa, Haryana, India

Section G: The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD & REDD-plus)

Section H: Preliminary results from the survey of emerging REDD demonstration and readiness activities

Section I: Voluntary markets for afforestation, reforestation and avoided deforestation

Topic 6 – The role of biofuels

Biofuel is solid, liquid or gas fuel consisting of – or derived from – recently dead biological material, most commonly plants. This distinguishes it from fossil fuel, which is derived from long dead biological material. This presentation is an overview of the role of biofuels, beginning with describing the different types, markets and market trends and the interaction of biofuels with global commodity markets. Biofuels have the potential to have an impact of climate change, which is just one of the manyopportunities highlighted. However, there are also challenges to be addressed in the biofuel sector.

Section A: Introduction to biofuels

Section B: Biofuels – impact on climate change

Section C: Biofuel policy issues related to economic development and environmental sustainability


• Arild Angelsen • Henning Baur • Jonathan Haskett • Markku Kanninen • Rodel Lasco • Bruno Locatelli • Daniel Murdiyarso • Levania Santoso • Patrick Smith • Brent Swallow • Maine van Noordwijk • Sheila Wertz-Kanounnikoff

Forests and Climate Change Toolbox

Related articles

Related resources

Add your project

Exchange your climate change adaptation projects and lessons learned with the global community.