Investing in sustainable productivity (IIED)

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Investing in sustainable productivity could secure REDD+ schemes long term

Isilda Nhantumbo

Investing in sustainable local enterprises could help REDD+ secure projects’ long term financial viability — that was the feeling emerging in discussions at IIED and partners’ REDD+ workshop at the COP18 climate talks in Doha.

The curtain has fallen on the Qatar climate talks, including on REDD+ discussions (the scheme to reward developing countries for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation). The REDD+ fraternity was disappointed not to achieve breakthroughs in the negotiations both on finance (should it be market and / or fund based?) and on monitoring, reporting and verification systems (what guidance should be developed?).

But even if another year elapses before clear decisions on these issues, both developed and developing countries should continue with their voluntary commitments to financing, developing and implementing actions that make it worthwhile to keep carbon locked up in forests and soils.

Pushing on

The COP meetings and negotiations provide unequalled opportunities for local and global actors to come together to push for the decisions REDD+ needs. And they are also a crucial opportunity for sharing local experiences and ‘good practice’ lessons. At this year’s meeting I was a panellist for a side event run by IIED, the Tanzania Natural Resources Forum (TNRF) and the Green Belt Movement on ‘pro-poor REDD+: local and global perspectives’. The discussion was on models governments and other practitioners are already experimenting with, as they get ‘REDD+ ready’.

Our event heard about various approaches including: paying 80% of the REDD+ ‘carbon sale value’ to local communities;  community forest stewardship certification that generates a premium for sustainable timber; and paying communities for committing to avoid deforestation, either through conservation projects, increased productivity of agriculture or by developing sustainable resource management.

What sort of payments, and who should get them?


Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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