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Status of forest carbon rights and implications for communities, the carbon trade, and REDD+ investments

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This brief presents research findings and examines the status of existing legal frameworks regarding Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ rights to trade forest carbon.

It argues that  REDD+ has not been a catalyst of tenure reforms across low and middle income countries (LMICs), even though most countries with a REDD+ strategy have identified the clarification of tenure as a key component of their approach, and leading international REDD+ initiatives have committed to recognizing and advancing community tenure rights. The Rights and Resources Initiative research is taken to indicate that the increase in the area recognized as owned by Indigenous Peoples and local communities was five times higher in the period 2002-2008 than 2008-2013, representing a slowdown in the recognition of rights on the ground.