Overcoming the legal barriers to REDD+ implementation

Overcoming the legal barriers to REDD+ implementation

‘Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation’ (REDD+) has become an important part of international climate change policy.  It is designed to create incentives for developing countries to participate in forestry conservation, aiming to contribute to climate change mitigation, biodiversity preservation, and also to the creation of sustainable livelihoods for forest-dependent communities.  REDD+ can be framed as a new tool to address the traditional challenges linked to forestry governance and sustainable land management.

Although it is widely acknowledged that domestic legal frameworks form the ‘backbone’ of REDD+ implementation, the relatively recent development of REDD+ at the international level combined with the small number of pilot projects around the world has left a vacuum in terms of how existing law is applied to implement successful REDD+ projects. REDD+ project developers must tackle issues such as defining carbon rights, designing benefit-sharing systems for local stakeholders (and ensuring that the rights of local peoples are respected), structuring projects to ensure that foreign investment is permitted and addressing challenges such as leakage and permanence.

This project was funded by the CCI Collaborative Fund for Conservation.

Project Aims

This project is designed to provide publicly available resources which detail key information about legal barriers to REDD+ implementation. It will use Fauna & Flora International’s (FFI) pilot REDD+ projects as case studies (in Mozambique, Liberia, Vietnam and Cambodia) to provide data regarding the practical problems faced by REDD+ project developers.  Drawing on existing research links within the Department of Land Economy, the project will also consider developments in Kenya as an example of REDD+ implementation in Africa.  In addition, UNEP-WCMC will use part of this research to inform the development of biodiversity safeguards for REDD+. 

This 12 month project started in July, 2012 and it will deliver site-level analysis to both support the practical implementation of REDD+ projects and inform policy formulation.

CCI partners Involved


Thumbnail and Banner Image: Kalyan Varma