This paper discusses the importance of institutional barriers in promoting reforestation as a means of mitigating global climate change. It is argued that cost-effective implementation of reforestation depends on proper institutional settings in host countries. The study is motivated by the growing interest for reforestation projects in developing countries through the Joint Implementation (JI) mechanism. Particular emphasis is given to the role of property rights. The relationship between various stakeholders, such as governments, NGOs, the private sector, and international aid agencies is analyzed. Discussed aspects include conflicts among stakeholders, long-term security or stability of property rights regimes, distribution of property rights, and information exchange. The forest situation in China and Indonesia is used as an illustrative example.
The study outlines a number of conflicts in the property rights regime which need a better understanding. Important questions for further research include: (1) What are the underlying conditions that affect the design and implementation of reforestation programs? (2) Who are the main actors involved in forest management, and which are their respective roles and motivations? (3) To what extent and in what ways do property rights affect the cost-effectiveness of reforestation efforts? (4) What policy instruments can be developed or improved to facilitate reforestation programs? and (5) What are the relevant institutional frameworks and/or arrangements to be used in JI for reforestation programs? What institutional changes would be brought up through such programs?