International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Dual Degree Master of Business Administration/Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy (MBA/ESP)


International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Elisabeth Gilmore

Second Reader

Dominik Kulakowski

Third Reader

Will O'Brien


Carbon Offsets, Forest Management, Ecological Sustainability, California, Forestry, Climate Change Mitigation


Forest Carbon offsets are being used as a climate change mitigation strategy in multiple programs around the world. But, are programs setup in a way that are ecologically sustainable? This paper reviews concepts pertinent to ecologically sustainable forest management and then examines if Improved Forest Management Carbon offset policies and projects within the California emissions trading scheme are setup in an ecologically sustainable manner. After a review of the Improved Forest Management Protocol and 31 project documents, it is apparent that policies and projects promote aspects of ecologically sustainable management. However, there is room for improvement when managing for natural disturbance regimes and promoting connectivity of landscape. This review can be used to assist in the development of ecologically sustainable forest Carbon offset programs in the future.



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