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REDD, forest governance and rural livelihoods: the emerging agenda

Publication date:
O. Springate-Baginski (ed)
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Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) initiatives are more likely to be effective in reducing emissions if they build on, rather than conflict with, the interests of local communities and indigenous groups (referred to henceforth as ‘forest communities’).
The document presents the proceedings of an international workshop on REDD held at the University of East Anglia in spring 2009. It examines the effects of incentive-based forest management programmes on the livelihoods of local communities. It also analyses REDD development case studies from the six countries (i.e. Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Madagascar, Tanzania and Nepal) to identify design features that would support benefits for local communities and indigenous groups. The case studies describe the preparedness of these selected countries for REDD.
The paper notes that reviews of incentive-based experiences related to payments for environmental services, volunteer carbon markets, and the Clean Development Mechanism show that incentives can be successful in supporting forest conservation. In the case studies, the paper describes countries’ preparedness for REDD in the lead up to the December 2009 UN Copenhagen meetings. It notes that, Brazil and Indonesia, are two of the world’s highest emitters of forest-related carbon and have taken significant steps to establish policy and project frameworks for REDD. The report further notes that most countries have Readiness Plans for the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Facility, for instance, Madagascar and Tanzania plan to build on existing policies for participatory forestry or conservation. The findings recommend the following to make REDD work for forest communities:

there is need for clear links between incentives, drivers and benefits at multiple scales
there is need for long-term development opportunities
forest communities will need to be involved in making REDD decisions that affect them
National REDD programmes will need to be complemented by pro-poor programmes adapted to local conditions