REDD+ and development

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)


The core concept in REDD+ centres on the proposal that developed countries pay developing countries to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and for conserving, managing and enhancing forest carbon stocks. By doing so it attempts to create a new economic value for tropical forests linked with their ability to store carbon. Some studies have estimated that by channelling up to US$30 billion per year to developing countries, emissions from tropical forests could be reduced by 50 per cent between 2005 and 2030. These figures, combined with the potential for tapping into new sources of finance from global carbon markets, have generated considerable interest in REDD+ as a new financial opportunity for developing country governments and poor people living in rural areas. Many of the REDD+ initiatives that have emerged include objectives to deliver ‘co-benefits’ such as poverty reduction. However, REDD+ could also raise new risks for the poor. It is possible that the promise of REDD+ finance will incentivise governments and the private sector to undermine the rights of the poor to forest resources or involve them in risky development strategies that prioritise emissions reductions over pro-poor development and welfare. This chapter discusses the human development implications of REDD+, focusing particularly on how it might impact on poor and vulnerable people in developing countries. Early country REDD+ strategies (e.g. under the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and the United Nations REDD+ Programme (UN-REDD)) include a wide range of often relatively familiar forestry and development policies, such as protected areas and community forestry, about which we already have some knowledge of impacts on the poor. The chapter briefly reviews the evidence base on such policies, but places more emphasis on how some of the ‘newer’ features of the REDD+ mechanism may affect its development outcomes. These include new types of performance-based financial flows possibly linked to carbon markets, a focus on performance in emissions reductions, the application of standards and safeguards, and scaling up from project interventions to broader national policy approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLaw, Tropical Forests and Carbon
Subtitle of host publicationThe Case of REDD+
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781139236904
ISBN (Print)9781107028807
Publication statusPublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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