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Pro-poor approaches to REDD+

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Introduction and background

Many studies have shown how poor households depend on forests for both subsistence and cash needs across many parts of the developing world. Poor households, with few alternative sources of income and livelihood, often turn to the harvesting of resources from forests perceived as open access areas to supply the growing markets of products such as charcoal and timber, as well as other forest products. This leads in turn to widespread forest degradation and an increase in emissions of carbon dioxide and other green-house gasses. If interventions designed to reduce deforestation and forest degradation are to be effective in such contexts, they must be “pro-poor”, by targeting poor groups such as female-headed households, the landless and the youth - to manage forests more effectively.  Particularly important activities include helping communities secure tenure rights over forests (and thereby creating an incentive to protect, conserve and manage them) or helping poor people identify alternative sources of incomes that are not dependent on unsustainable forest harvesting.

Key Policy Messages

  • REDD+ pilot projects in Tanzania have demonstrated that pro-poor interventions increase the reach and effectiveness of interventions being promoted. This can be more costly and time-consuming, but it ensures that interventions are more equitable.
  • Pro-poor approaches to REDD+ pay particular attention to the interests of poor, forest-dependent people and to the need for REDD+ to strengthen their rights and improve their livelihoods. Particular importance is given to the interests of women and other marginalised, forest dependent groups.

Tanzania REDD+ Pilot Projects: Policy Brief 2.