Forest tenure reform: New community rights in the age of climate change
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Forest tenure reform: New community rights in the age of climate change



Anne M. Larson

Anne M. Larson

Presentation for the conference on
Taking stock of smallholders and community forestry
Montpellier France
March 24-26, 2010



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    Forest tenure reform: New community rights in the age of climate change Forest tenure reform: New community rights in the age of climate change Presentation Transcript

    • Forest Tenure Reform:New Community Rights in the Age of Climate ChangeAnne M LarsonSenior Associate, CIFORWorkshop: Taking Stock of Smallholder and Community ForestryMontpellier, FranceMarch 24-26, 2010
    • Outline of presentation
      I. Intro to REDD & communities
      II. Research and methods
      III. Obstacles to reforms
      Statutory rights
      Access to benefits
      IV. Lessons for REDD & communities
    • I. Intro to REDD & communities
      What is REDD(+)? (strategies for reducing emissions from DD and enhancing C stocks)
      REDD & communities: (1) could leave out, (2) have positive effects on communities or (3) have negative effects
      Right to forests, rights to Carbon, decision-making (rules) about forests
      Tenure rights:
      REDD is likely to require secure tenure (PES experience, logic of international markets/ investments)
      If communities do not have secure tenure, who will get rights?
      If rights are “secured”, who will get them?
      Who makes the rules for meeting REDD requirements?
    • II. Research and methods
      Comparative case study, policy advocacy research in over 30 sites in 10 countries
      Countries and sites chosen:
      Where a statutory tenure change in favour of communities had recently occurred or was about to occur
      Where there was potential to influence policy
      Rights-based approach in the sense that “local people” were (usually) advocating for tenure rights
      Dynamic study of reform processes
      Highly contextualized at various scales: local (single community), groups of communities, regional, national
    • III. Obstacles to reformA. Statutory rights
      Extent, permanence and security of rights (through what legal mechanisms?)
      Quality and quantity of forests granted
      Rules for resource use
      Rights for some may exclude others with customary claims
    • III. Obstacles to reformB. Implementation processes
      Foot-dragging by the state (state interest in the resources on those lands?)
      Logistical difficulties (ex. demarcation)
      Competing claims (legitimate and not, the role of the state)
      Governance challenges (elite capture, unaccountable authority)
    • III. Obstacles to reform C. Access to benefits
      Accompanying measures (capacity building, access to markets)
      Licenses and permits, complex bureaucracies
      Discretionary powers of forest officers
      Costs, lack of credit
    • III. Obstacles for reform: Summary
    • IV. Lessons: Communities & REDDAttention to tenure in REDD to date
      ‘… many R-PINs suggest a very limited analysis (and in some cases understanding) of the existing situation with regards to conflicts over tenure and potential obstacles to reform and implementation. Issues such as … the nature of customary practices and indigenous rights are not consistently addressed. Furthermore, few countries address the need to clarify carbon rights within existing tenure systems.’
      ‘Given the strong consensus amongst participating countries that improving tenure security is critical for REDD, a deeper and more practical discussion of how these issues may be resolved will be needed….’ (Davis et al. 2009).
    • IV. Lessons: Communities & REDDREDD risks for communities
      Tenure rights
      Rules for forest use
      without secure rights, increased risk of REDD failure
      risk of elite capture
      risk of conflict
      risk of inequity in benefits
      with or without secure rights, who benefits?
      …Failure of the state to defend and secure rights for communities
      who makes the rules
      who enforces them
      how do they restrict livelihood activities
      are losses adequately compensated
      who is affected most
      …Tendency to centralize decisions, top-down rules
    • IV. Lessons: Communities & REDDQuestions…
      Will states share REDD benefits with communities?
      Will they facilitate community participation?
      Will states defend communities against competing interests? Against elite capture?
      Will states protect community livelihoods over potential national income from C sales?
      Will states simply make the rules and expect, or force, communities to follow them?