Community Participation and Benefits in REDD+: A Review of Initial Outcomes and Lessons
Kathleen Lawlor, Erin Myers Madeira, Jill Blockhus and David Ganz
Forests 2013, 4(2), 296-318; doi:10.3390/f4020296

The advent of initiatives to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation and enhance forest carbon stocks (REDD+) in developing countries has raised much concern regarding impacts on local communities. To inform this debate, this article analyzes the initial outcomes of those REDD+ projects that systematically report on their socio-economic dimensions. To categorize and compare projects, researchers develop a participation and benefits framework that considers REDD+’s effects on local populations’ opportunities (jobs, income), security (of tenure and ecosystem services), and empowerment (participation in land use and development decisions). They find material benefits, in terms of jobs and income, to be, thus far, modest. On the other hand, many projects are helping populations gain tenure rights. A majority of projects are obtaining local populations’ free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC). However, for those projects interacting with multiple populations, extent of participation and effects on forest access are often uneven. Read the abstract … Download the full text [pdf] …