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Improving the design of REDD+ benefit-sharing schemes

26/03/2015 - 00:00
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Ensuring that payments for protecting forests are equitably shared

Pham Hong Luong

"Our research aims to bring local perspectives to the front of policy design. If local people believe these schemes have inequitable sharing of costs and benefits, they may not be willing to engage in the forest management activities that the benefits seek to motivate, so the policy will be largely ineffective in achieving forest conservation goals. We then take that information to policy-makers."
Grace Wong, Senior Scientist and project coordinator, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

CONTEXT

mr.luong with villagers in ta dung natural protected area vietnam
REDD+, the idea of conditional rewards for reducing carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, has raised many questions as governments, NGOs and researchers work to implement such schemes. One set of questions is on the sharing of REDD+ costs and benefits. Who should receive payments for protecting forests? Are incentives enough to change people’s behaviour? Does the system seem fair to those involved? Design of equitable and legitimate benefit-sharing schemes will be key to the success of REDD+ in reducing deforestation, mitigating climate change and improving livelihoods.

OBJECTIVES

  • To conduct in-depth research on benefit sharing in six tropical countries, from site-specific and country studies to cross-country comparisons.
  • To generate policy options from this research for use in national and local government decision-making, to ensure the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of REDD+ mechanisms.
  • To provide REDD+ policy-makers and practitioners with guidance on how to improve the design and implementation of these benefit-sharing mechanisms.

RESULTS

  • Policy stakeholders’ needs and priorities have been identified through workshops and dialogues.
  • Multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral research has been conducted and information consolidated to present policy options for design of effective, efficient and equitable REDD+ benefit-sharing mechanisms.
  • REDD+ benefit-sharing policy options are being shared throughout the global REDD+ community and national REDD+ policy-makers through publications, workshops, conferences and outreach.

TESTIMONY

Pham Hong Luong is Deputy Director, Vietnam Forest Protection and Development Fund, and Deputy Director, Department of Finance, Vietnam.

Mr Luong is in charge of implementing the Payments for Forest Ecosystem Services (PFES) policy in Vietnam. This is a benefit-sharing mechanism to distribute cash from companies relying on forest ecosystem services to forest owners in exchange for protecting forests.

"The CIFOR studies are very useful and helpful for us. Recently we received comprehensive reports from them which mentioned a lot of issues relating to benefit sharing. That’s why now we are trying to convince our government to revise the PFES policy.

Results from the reports made by CIFOR are very important to help us convince them. We distribute them to many stakeholders and ministries that are involved in our process.

If the benefit-sharing mechanism is adjusted, villagers will get more money to ensure their livelihoods, which helps them to protect our forests. That is a sustainable way to ensure we keep our forests into the future."

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