In the lead up to today’s REDD+ side event, TNRF would like to share two exciting new publications on equitable benefit sharing and REDD+ in Tanzania.
TNRF, together with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), CARE Tanzania, Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), Mpingo Conservation and Development Initiative (MCDI), Tanzania Community Forest Network (MJUMITA), Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFCG), Tanzania Traditional Energy Development Organization (TaTEDO), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania (WCST), have prepared a report and information brief with the goals to:
- Facilitate documentation of emerging examples and lessons on benefit sharing from REDD+ pilot projects;
- Enhance Tanzanian stakeholders’ understanding of equitable REDD+ benefit sharing; and
- Identify practical benefit sharing options for the consideration of REDD+ implementers in Tanzania.
They build upon individual interviews with staff of the NGOs facilitating the REDD+ pilot projects, as well as a roundtable discussion with pilot project staff, and existing publications on REDD+ and CBNRM.
REDD+ is based on incentives from the transfer of financial benefits, and can, if well designed, implemented and enforced, generate additional benefits such as enhanced governance, more secure (tenure) rights, improved environmental services, and income from REDD+ related activities. REDD+ also poses substantial potential costs, including restricted access to land and resources, and the costs of improving policy and governance frameworks.
Equitable benefit sharing is imperative if REDD+ is to result in sustainable emissions reductions, realize substantial benefits for forest communities, and avoid making vulnerable people worse off. Benefit sharing is, in other words, an ethical obligation that helps make REDD+ effective, equitable, sustainable, and accepted.
Establishing equitable benefit sharing is likely to be challenging in practice, including because of: lack of clarity and difficulty estimating what actual REDD+ benefits and costs will be, weak governance, weak or poorly enforced land tenure rights, and high resource needs for effective implementation and monitoring.
Despite these challenges, many countries, including Tanzania, are forging ahead in getting ‘REDD+ ready’, including through implementation of several REDD+ pilot projects. Emerging lessons from these pilot projects, as well as longer standing experience in community based natural resources management (CBNRM) and payment for environmental services (PES) schemes, should be considered in the design of REDD+ benefit sharing.
As benefit sharing is an increasingly recognized, but largely unresolved issue in REDD+, and as the benefit sharing mechanisms being tested under the pilot projects are in relatively early stages of development, this report focuses on raising key questions and options, rather than identifying clearly established lessons learned.
This briefing aims to document emerging benefit sharing examples from REDD+ pilot projects; enhance Tanzanian stakeholders’ understanding of equitable benefit sharing; and identify practical options for REDD+ in Tanzania. The following are the brief’s key messages:
- If effectively implemented, equitable benefit sharing can help ensure REDD+ reduces emissions, realizes substantial benefits for forest communities and does not make vulnerable people worse off.
- REDD+ financial incentives and other benefits will need to be shared among many actors at multiple levels, but substantial benefits should go to forest communities.
- Establishing effective and equitable benefit sharing is challenging; therefore, mechanisms should be designed, implemented and monitored in accordance with social and environmental safeguards.
- Lessons learned from REDD+ projects and other community based natural resource management initiatives should help inform benefit sharing mechanisms, so that they are equitable, realistic and effective.