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Report Calls for REDD+ to Invest in Forest Communities

Press release

New Haven, Conn, USA: Income generated from REDD+ should be given to forest communities to invest in their future, recommends a new report by The Forests Dialogue (TFD). Investing locally in this way should be part of understanding REDD+ as integral to broader development among forest-dependent communities.

The new report Giving REDD+ Life, examines the relationship between REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) and broader development goals, and explores how and why the two should be integrated. The report is being launched as the advisory bodies for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meet in Bonn this week, and one month before the Rio+20 summit in Brazil—with “green economy” and financing high on the agendas of both meetings.


“The most sustainable, long-term conservation occurs when local communities have access to and control over their resources,” says Gary Dunning, Executive Director of TFD. “These resources include those generated by REDD+ initiatives, but the benefits should be used to support broader, sustainable local development. We need to approach forests as landscapes rather than just sticks of concentrated carbon.”


The wide-ranging report has other recommendations on REDD+ financing and distribution of benefits. It calls for donor agencies to do more to ensure that forest communities receive their share of REDD+ money, and for REDD+ to be linked with broader development funding to support local communities’ livelihoods and development efforts.


“Each country should have a system which tracks and reports the proportion of incentives and payments that actually reach the local level and whether that allocation is sufficient to deliver clear outcomes” says Stewart Maginnis, Global Director of IUCN’s Nature Based Solutions and Rights Group. “It’s there that the actions of farmers, community organizations, NGOs and businesses really determine whether those programs designed to contribute to the reduction of deforestation and to the restoration of forest landscapes—and in local development more generally—succeed or fail.”


The report recommends that more research be done on reducing the costs of REDD+ interventions in countries in order for benefits to be maximized. The report also makes the case for more incentives to entice private-sector investment in REDD+ implementation, as it would improve the chances of local REDD+ work being sustained after donor money dries up.


“REDD+ policies need to create incentives for businesses to get involved in sustainable forest management and to build local capacity for active stakeholder engagement and effective management.” says Joseph Lawson, Global Director of Sustainable Forests for MWV, a global packaging company and key member of WBCSD’s Forest Solutions Group.


Beyond the issues of financing and benefits, the Giving REDD+ Life report looks at key factors in getting REDD+ right for all involved parties, including those related to land tenure and governance

of forests and forest resources.


“How to combine REDD+ and the interests of locals and indigenous peoples is a big challenge,” says Estebancio Castro Diaz, Executive Secretary of the International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests. “Indigenous communities have rights that need to be respected. The major challenge is the issue of land tenure and the rights to natural resources. Who’s entitled to what? Resolving those issues is very complex. REDD+ is unlikely to succeed and be accepted by indigenous peoples if the issues of rights and tenure are not resolved.”


To download the report in English:

Notes for Editors


Contact Information

Gary DunningExecutive Director, The Forests Dialogue (TFD) Tel: +1 203 432 5966


About REDD

REDD+ is a mechanism to mitigate climate change that implies paying for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation made through forest conservation, the sustainable management of forests and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries.


About TFD

TFD, The Forests Dialogue, is an autonomous organization hosted by Yale University.  Utilizing a multi-stakeholder dialogue process, TFD builds trust among leaders, shared understanding on complex challenges and collaborative solutions on the most urgent global forest issues.


TFD partnered with International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) on this REDD+ Readiness Initiative. The Initiative’s 7 international dialogues culminated in the development of this report. The Initiative was funded by support from Norad. More information about TFD’s REDD+ Readiness Initiative can be found at:



About IIED

IIED, The International Institute for Environment and Development, has been a world leader in the field of sustainable development since 1971. As an independent policy research organisation, IIED works with partners on five continents to tackle key global issues—climate change, urbanisation, the

squeeze on natural resources and how to make global markets sustainable. IIED’s work on climate change and REDD+ seeks just and sustainable benefit distribution mechanisms through which the poor can both adapt to and help mitigate climate change. In the forest sector, IIED’s work addresses

issues around governance, enterprise, and climate change, with a focus on researching and spreading integrated, intensified and climate smart models of locally controlled forestry.



About IUCN

IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. IUCN works on biodiversity, climate change, energy, human livelihoods and greening the world economy by supporting scientific research, managing field projects all over the world, and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice. IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization, with more than 1,200 government and NGO members and almost 11,000 volunteer experts in some 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 45 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world.



WBCSD, The World Business Council for Sustainable Development is a unique, CEO-led, globalassociation of some 200 companies dealing exclusively with business and sustainable development. The Council provides a platform for companies to explore sustainable development, share knowledge, experiences and best practices, and to advocate business positions on these issues in a variety of forums, working with governments and non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations.

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