The main principle underlying REDD+ is the transfer of large financial incentives from developed to developing countries, targeted at reducing deforestation and degradation.
The scale of the payments is likely to be linked to rates of reduction in deforestation and degradation. REDD+ therefore has the potential to provide substantial financial benefits to tropical developing countries.
The way in which these benefits are realised has become a major issue in REDD+. A particular concern is that the benefits (and costs) may not be equitably shared between different stakeholders and that poor people in particular could lose out because they have less power in decision making processes.
At present, the term 'benefit sharing' is used in many different ways, making it difficult to identify what the key issues are and the best approaches to solving them. It is not always clear what the types of benefits are that need to be shared (e.g. financial benefits or in kind benefits such as access to services) and how these balance with costs.
It is also unclear how 'legitimate' beneficiaries should be identified, particularly where deforestation is occurring due to illegal activities; or how benefit sharing systems can be managed across different scales: national, local, and within communities.
Further challenges arise in how local communities and indigenous people can access REDD+ benefits, how negotiation processes are managed, and whether there are contractual arrangements between those giving and those receiving benefits.
Please find below a range of REDD-net research and insights into benefits sharing.
To read the latest opinion and articles from the REDD-net partnership on REDD+, visit our blog.Image: Douglas Sheil, CIFOR