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.

CC100, Jeju, Korea Photo: IUCN ELC

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.

REDD+ participation

• 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.


Work area: 
Environmental Law
North America
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