Developing forest sinks in Australia and the United States -- A forest owner's prerogative
There is a general consensus within the scientific community that human activity is causing the earth to warm. The use of forests as carbon sinks is increasingly recognized as a mitigation option. Emission trading frameworks throughout the world have emerged as the chosen means to manage emissions. This is also evident within the large area, high emission countries of Australia and the United States which both incorporate the use of forest sinks within existing or proposed emission trading frameworks. This paper evaluates and compares the frameworks in each country and reviews the corresponding literature to identify knowledge gaps that currently exist regarding forest sink development. While extensive work has been carried out to understand the potential contribution of forest sinks, little has been done in a uniform manner to clarify the likely uptake and implementation of forest sinks by forest owners. Using innovation theory to understand the interactions between the relevant actors and institutions influencing the development of carbon sinks and as a means to frame the required research, this paper highlights why knowledge of the intentions of the forest owner is integral to the success of forest sinks as a mitigation option. The Theory of Planned Behavior is suggested as a means of examining and understanding the intentions of forest owners to implement forest sinks.
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