- Deforestation and forest degradation account for approximately 11% of global carbon emissions. Forests are crucial in the response to climate change and in preserving biodiversity.
- Based on the recent publications Forest, Climate, Biodiversity and People: Assessing a Decade of REDD+ and A Decade of REDD+: Stakeholder Perceptions of its Implementation prepared by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) Global Forest Expert Panel (GFEP) Programme, this white paper showcases the effects that more than 10 years of REDD+ implementation have had on forests, carbon, biodiversity, and people.
- Cross-learning between REDD+ and FLR serves to illustrate some commonalities and highlight opportunities
The cross-learning journey between REDD+ and FLR
Challenges associated with FLR that are relevant to REDD+ include:
- Opposing agendas: while FLR was initially set up to promote the twin goals of ecological integrity and human well-being, the Bonn Challenge in 2011 began shifting FLR towards a climate agenda.
- Obstacles to restoration: over time, easily quantifiable and measurable targets have been favored in FLR, nonetheless, these targets are fraught with obstacles related to several governance factors, such as conflicts over tenure and contradictory sectoral priorities.
- Unscaled funding: the scale of funding committed or even disbursed at higher levels (e.g., through the Green Climate Fund) is not reflected in the funding reaching local populations. An emphasis on technical forest-related measures has overshadowed the importance of the human dimension.
- Shortcomings in governance: local communities and poor engagement and participation in FLR have resulted in a fault to reach stakeholder engagement standards.
Challenges and lessons from REDD+ of relevance to FLR include:
- The growing remit and complexity of REDD+ have brought in new actors and diverse interpretations of the scope of REDD+. FLR is facing a similar challenge.
- Tenure was identified as a major issue in REDD+ early on and efforts were rapidly focused on addressing some key tenurial issues. In contrast, it has taken many years for FLR proponents to acknowledge the relevance of tenure to FLR implementation.
- Although the participation of non-state actors such as civil society, the private sector, Indigenous groups, and forest-dependent communities is weaker than that of international non-governmental organizations, donors, and government agencies, the existence of an institutional setup for REDD+ at the national level facilitates such inclusion.
- While FLR strives for the engagement of stakeholders (its first principle) in practice, FLR, like other restoration efforts, often falls short of the real engagement of local stakeholders.