Carbon emissions from selectively logged forests in the tropics are strongly affected by logging practices. Although tropical forests are mainly managed under the concession system, only a handful of studies were done to assess the impact of logging practices on emission reductions and future timber supply. In this report, carbon stocks, timber supply, and carbon emission reductions under conventional logging (CVL), reduced-impact logging (RIL), and RIL with special silvicultural treatments (RIL+) were assessed in 3.4 million ha of concession forests for a 55-year project time span. Carbon emissions under a 25-year CVL practiced in Cambodia were estimated at 12.4 TgCO2 year-1 for 55 years. We then tested four cutting cycles of selective logging and our results suggest that a 45-year selective cutting cycle was appropriate for managing concession forests in Cambodia in terms of maintaining commercial timber supply and reducing carbon emissions. By considering RIL or RIL+ as a new logging practice for improving forest management in the tropics, carbon credits from selective logging in Cambodia were estimated at 6.2 - 7.9 TgCO2 or about $31.0 - 39.5 million annually if carbon is priced at $5. It is concluded that RIL or RIL+ should be adopted for “sustainable management of forests” element of the REDD+ scheme.
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