In this issue of IIED’s ‘Gatekeeper’ series explores the work of the Mpingo Conservation and Development Initiative (MCDI) in southeastern Tanzania successfully involved communities in participatory forest management, Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certification and REDD+. The authors identify three lessons: 1) assess what is driving deforestation: Analyse deforestation drivers at the outset. Until these are understood, everything else is irrelevant, 2) work 'backwards' from carbon market requirements: Design the detail by first carefully considering your chosen verification scheme's precise requirements, rather than starting with a general understanding 3) Carbon contracts and communities: Take things slowly. Begin with basic project cooperation agreements with communities before starting detailed discussions about commercial REDD+ carbon contracts.
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