Land tenure and REDD+: the good, the bad and the ugly


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Under what conditions does REDD+ present a threat or opportunity for local land/forest tenure rights? Based on the evidence collected to date from field studies as part of CIFOR’s Global Comparative Study on REDD+, the issue of local tenure rights is being taken seriously by key actors. But the hard work may have only just begun.
CIFOR scientist Anne Larson gave this presentation on 18 June 2012 at a panel discussion organised by CIFOR and partners at the ISEE 2012 Conference at Rio, which convened under the topic "Ecological Economics and Rio+20: Challenges and Contributions for a Green Economy". The panel was titled ‘National strategies for reducing emissions from avoided deforestation and degradation – how much transformational change is possible in current political and economic realities? Part I – An overview’. For more information, visit

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Land tenure and REDD+: the good, the bad and the ugly

  1. 1. Land Tenure and REDD+: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Anne Larson, Maria Brockhaus, William Sunderlin, Amy Duchelle, Andrea Babon, Therese Dokken, IAP Resosudarmo, Galia Selaya and Abdon AwonoTHINKING beyond the canopy ISEE, June 18, 2012
  2. 2. Central questions Under what conditions does REDD+ present a threat or opportunity for local land/ forest tenure rights? • Good: opportunity • Bad: communities marginalized and/or REDD does not work • Ugly: threat to local rights and livelihoods THINKING beyond the canopy
  3. 3. Overview Why tenure matters for REDD+ Methods Research results Taking stock Moving forward THINKING beyond the canopy
  4. 4. Why tenure matters for REDD+1. The essence of REDD is to reward carbon sequestration and compensate lost opportunities (who will be rewarded?)2. The reward is conditional on compliance (who will be held accountable?)3. Unclear or non-formal tenure may lead to forest people’s exclusion, and to land grabbing4. Certain forest uses will be prohibited (FPIC? Increased hardships?) THINKING beyond the canopy
  5. 5. Why tenure matters: the ugly“No Rights No REDD” movement REDD+ has the potential to result in “the biggest land grab of all time… threatening the very survival of indigenous peoples and local communities” • Still no binding commitment to rights or safeguards • Land tenure insecurity • Govt failure to insure Free prior and informed consent (FPIC) THINKING beyond the canopy
  6. 6. Research MethodsCIFOR Global Comparative StudyNational- Country profiles- Media analysis- Policy network analysisProject level- Interviews with 19 project proponents- Village focus groups in 71 project villages THINKING beyond the canopy
  7. 7. National level results Tenure problems and policies table: substantial problems, weak solutions if any But popular topic in stakeholder interviews and position statements, however… only rhetoric? Media analysis of 500+ articles: largely absent as main focus of article Policy network analysis: the organizations concerned with tenure are not influential THINKING beyond the canopy
  8. 8. Project level results Tenure problems and policies table: • substantial problems • substantial local project proponent initiatives, but… limited by national framework & lack of national-level attention to the problem • less than half of proponents satisfied with results to date, all agree more to be done THINKING beyond the canopy
  9. 9. Table. Land conflict or insecurity Villages with an  Villages with tenure  area of land in  insecurity over at least a Country conflict portion of village lands (number & %) (number & %)Brazil 7 (44%) 8 (50%)Cameroon 5 (83%) 6 (100%)Tanzania 6 (24%) 8 (32%)Indonesia 11 (55%) 17 (85%)Vietnam 0 (0%) 0 (0%) THINKING beyond the canopy
  10. 10. Taking stock: some interesting developments? For the first time, tenure is broadly recognized as important for REDD+ New attention given to the issue of local rights  Bold statements by Indonesia’s REDD task force chair and others Tenure seen not just an issue of rights but also REDD effectiveness -> incentive? REDD is meeting resistance from big deforesters Carbon cowboy scandals (e.g. PNG) are being revealed and reversed (watchdog organizations) THINKING beyond the canopy
  11. 11. Tenure for whom? Tenure issue Opportunity RiskLack of clarity  Rights clarified and  Rights secured toon ownership, secured for local people more powerfuloverlapping parties/ eliteclaims captureCustomary  Rights and recognition of  State asserts itsrights v state traditional land formal rights,ownership distribution controls process, imposes rules THINKING beyond the canopy
  12. 12. The way forward? Who will ally with whom? What role for communities? What role with “the state” play? Who is willing to lead in… • Challenges to business as usual in forests (deforestation) • Challenges to business as usual in forest tenure rights THINKING beyond the canopy
  13. 13. Good, bad and ugly Paste photos??? THINKING beyond the canopy
  14. 14. Thank you! THINKING beyond the canopy