CIFOR, UNEP Investigate REDD+ Benefit Sharing Projects
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In order to support benefit sharing, which is garnering attention in REDD+ preparedness, especially as countries move towards results based payments, projects in Kenya, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are gathering experiences and developing and testing decision-making support tools.

cifor_unep_cbfp2 June 2015: In order to support benefit sharing, which is garnering attention in REDD+ preparedness, especially as countries move towards results based payments, projects in Kenya, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are gathering experiences and developing and testing decision-making support tools.

In Indonesia, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) released the findings of two assessments on benefit sharing noting that anti-corruption actions can support benefit sharing for REDD+ and identifying the importance of stakeholder consultation, capacity building and a commitment to legitimacy.

In particular, CIFOR notes that many of the tools developed to enhance transparency, disseminate information and link institutions for the purpose of avoiding corruption can also be used to design and implement REDD+ benefit sharing. The study also identifies a number of key issues to be addressed in both anti-corruption and REDD+ benefit sharing including: ensuring stakeholder participation, engaging local authorities in appropriate ways, establishing appropriate institutions and providing adequate resources.

In a separate assessment, CIFOR analyzed 10 case studies of benefit sharing mechanisms in Indonesia in order to identify how benefit sharing is being implemented at the local level. Examining cases from REDD+, conservation, oil palm and community forestry projects, the study finds that legitimacy is closely tied to the actors involved, the level of engagement, the range of livelihood options and the amount of control exerted by local communities. The study also discusses non-monetary benefits such as security in land tenure, capacity building and investments in infrastructure noting that such benefits can become a burden if not well managed.

Taking a broader approach to benefit sharing, the DRC recently undertook a mapping exercise of the potential multiple benefits of REDD+. The study includes environmental services that provide direct or indirect benefits and attempts to quantify such benefits. However, due to a lack of data and limited existing assessments the study concluded that additional work is required before the assessment of REDD+ benefits can be used for national-level decision making.

In Kenya, the benefits of REDD+ to the local community were recently explored through an analysis of the Wildlife Works Kasigau REDD+ project. In addition to benefiting thousands of people through the construction of schools and water supplies and the provision of direct employment, the project is, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), supporting the development of a more sustainable charcoal industry and acting as a corridor between two protected areas. With regard to charcoal production, REDD+ is catalyzing further investments in sustainability and enforcement with a new UNEP initiative aimed at building capacity for custom controls and enforcement as well as awareness raising among producers and consumers.

Challenges remain, however, when considering REDD+ benefit sharing, as identified by CIFOR in its assessment of the participation of women in REDD+. In particular, an assessment of projects in Brazil, Cameroon, Indonesia, Peru, Tanzania, and Viet Nam revealed that women knew less about REDD+ and felt like they had less input into forest-related decision making compared to men. As such, the study calls for the engagement of women in REDD+ projects to go beyond participation to also include gender-responsive analysis within programme design.

CIFOR is part of the CGIAR Consortium. [Publication: Lessons for REDD+ benefit-sharing mechanisms from anti-corruption measures in Indonesia] [Publication: Benefit sharing in context A comparative analysis of 10 land-use change case studies in Indonesia] [Congo Basin Forest Partnership News] [Publication: Les bénéfices multiples de la REDD+ en RDC: Étude de faisabilité pour une évaluation économique et cartographie] [UNEP Press Release] [Publication: The role of women in early REDD+ implementation: lessons for future engagement]

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