Research on the Benefits, Challenges, and Implications of Land-Based Mitigation Strategies

Submission Deadline: March 7, 2024  -  April 11, 2024

This RFP will open for submissions on March 7, 2024, and close on April 11, 2024. See the application guidelines for additional information on evaluation criteria, expected budget ranges, and further context.

The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy invites proposals for original research that examines the challenges and implications of land-based climate change mitigation responses to promote more effective and equitable action. The geographic focus is global, with particular interest in proposals from a developing context. Proposals will be reviewed competitively according to evaluation criteria. The output is expected to result in a document that could become a Lincoln Institute Working Paper appropriate for publication.

Proposals must align with at least one of the four themes outlined below.

Theme 1: Translate Lessons from Closely Related Fields Past large-scale land-based interventions and extractive industries, such as wildlife conservation, large dams, and mining, demonstrate that policies and programs often fail to consider local contexts and can amplify existing international and domestic power disparities. These past interventions and industries have been examined extensively via diverse academic disciplines, including rural sociology, development economics, anthropology, and geography. Such in-depth review has generated lessons, analysis, and policy recommendations that can be applied to the emerging field of land-based climate mitigation.

This research theme aims to apply the knowledge, history, and policy recommendations from existing research of analogous past large-scale land-based interventions to help minimize the pitfalls of land-based mitigation. Through documentation and analysis, the research should identify lessons and propose recommendations for land-based mitigation.

Theme 2: Emerging High-Level Policy Frameworks and Their Implications for Land-Based Mitigation  Policy decisions that drive the financing and implementation of land-based mitigation occur at a very high level, largely removed from any local context. Ongoing negotiations and decision-making create frameworks that establish expectations, objectives, and rules for defining and undertaking land-based mitigation activities. Such frameworks, which include voluntary carbon markets, Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, net-zero pledges, and nationally determined contributions (NDCs), affect how, where, at what scale, and by whom land-based mitigation is implemented and its potential consequences.

This research theme aims to analyze these frameworks, including the context in which policies and decisions are made, to understand how they are evolving and to identify the emerging policy implications. Implications could relate to emerging national and subnational legislation and regulations on carbon markets, land tenure reforms, or new processes that include local and Indigenous communities in decision-making, among many others.

Theme 3: Understanding Current Trends   While international and national policies are still in development, momentum is building around land-based mitigation strategies and resulting in developments on the ground, from proposals to implementation. Land-based mitigation objectives directly drive these large-scale projects, agreements, and proposals. This research theme seeks to identify and examine such developments, including their challenges, benefits, and implications for local communities, and to extract lessons and insights to guide future work.

Theme 4: Evaluating Alternatives to Carbon as a Commodity  Several less-carbon-centric alternatives that recognize the wider benefits and demands on land more wholly have been offered. Among these are agricultural systems (agroecology, regenerative agriculture, etc.), conservation methods (ecosystem restoration, mosaic restoration, pro-forestation), and rights-based approaches (Indigenous and community-based land stewardship), all of which have been, to some extent, applied, so evidence of their potential benefits and challenges exists. The focus of this research theme is reviewing these alternative approaches, assessing them, and comparing them to other emerging methods. Results from this research theme should help identify viable land-use policies to support effective and equitable land-based mitigation strategies within an earth system governance framework.

RFP Schedule

  • Application deadline: April 11, 2024
  • Notification of accepted proposals: May 2, 2024
  • First progress report*: June 30, 2024
  • Second progress report: October 17, 2024
  • First draft: December 20, 2024
  • Final deliverable(s): May 1, 2025

*We recognize the early timing of this deliverable. The first progress report is intended to show initial advancements and share early project updates, such as data collection or engagement plans. We do not expect it to contain significant findings.

Evaluation Criteria

The Lincoln Institute will evaluate proposals based on the following criteria:

  • Relevance to at least one research theme identified in the RFP guidelines related to the benefits, challenges, and implications of land-based mitigation strategies.
  • Quality of the proposed methodology and sources of data.
  • Qualifications of the members of the research team.
  • Feasibility of project completion within the stated timeline and budget justification.


Application Period
March 7, 2024  -  April 11, 2024