How can law support effective benefit sharing and participation in REDD+?
The IUCN Environmental Law Centre held an all day conservation campus event on 'Law and governance for REDD+' on Saturday, 8 September at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Jeju, Korea. Co-organizers and partners included ClientEarth, the World Resources Institute, the International Development Law Organization, Conservation International-Peru, the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law, the IUCN Mesoamerica Office (ORMA), and the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law.
The purpose of the event was to enhance practical understanding of current legal and institutional approaches to REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) with a focus on benefit sharing and participation and examples at the national and sub-national levels. Key themes and messages from presentations and group discussion were:
REDD+ benefit sharing
• Benefit sharing should be facilitated from international to national and sub-national.
• Set up unbiased, participatory and culturally appropriate allocation processes. Need guarantees that benefits reach intended beneficiaries. Benefits should improve community livelihoods.
• Conservation agreements as tools for benefit sharing.
• Challenges include: corruption, limited timeframes for concluding agreements, managing financial expectations.
• Actors include donors, community, private sector, government, indigenous peoples, world and future populations and cover a spectrum from elite to vulnerable. Mapping and stakeholder assessment are important tools.
• Gaps in participation standards, particularly in relation to fairness.
• Need to identify: type of REDD-related information that should be freely accessible; responsibilities, rights and procedures for access to this information; and, key levels of decision-making at which to guarantee participation.
• Community level participation is key. Ensure genuine representation at central and local levels.
• Laws and policies for REDD+ in Tanzania are generally inadequate but can be addressed through law review and adapting existing laws.
• The Philippine National REDD-Plus Strategy NRPS seeks not only to maximize REDD+ social co-benefits, but to utilize REDD+ as a tool to promote community empowerment, tenure and effective resource management.
Overarching law reviews for REDD+ on benefit sharing and participation
• Laws and institutions not only prohibit or incentivize but also provide an overall enabling framework that guides public and private sector activities towards desired ends.
• Good governance is a pre-requisite for effective REDD+ at all stages from planning to implementation to reporting.
• Diversity and complexity are inherent. REDD+ best progressed on a country by country basis.
• Tools and services are available. Through its work to assist REDD+ countries in developing robust and coherent legal frameworks FAO presented on lessons learnt in Mexico, Vietnam and Zambia.
• Enforcement is a balance between “the carrot and the stick”, policy and regulations, national and local responsibilities.
• Preference to work with existing laws rather than separate REDD+ legal structures.
The agenda, details on the presenters and copies of presentations can be found here.