REDD+ for Green Communities 

Global uptake of a community-based REDD+ approach 

Recognizing the importance of reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), there was a need to develop a strategy to increase the value of standing forest by creating incentive for conservation, the sustainable management of forests, and the enhancement of carbon stocks.

In 2009, ICIMOD, together with the Asian Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources (ANSAB) and Federation of Community Forest Users Nepal (FECOFUN), developed a REDD+ pilot project in Nepal with financial support of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). The aim of the project was to demonstrate the feasibility of implementing a REDD+ incentive mechanism in community-managed forests. The pilot also supported the longer-term objective of establishing a payment mechanism under the National REDD Strategy. As a result of this project, and by the compliance in REDD process through the guidelines adopted by this project, overall forest governance has improved in the project sites.

Impact assessment studies carried out by the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE) confirm that the pilot project has led to more accountable management and more frequent sharing of information among user communities. Indigenous people, women, Dalits, and the poor have also been given more space for participation and opportunities for meaningful engagement in forest-related decision making processes and benefit sharing compared to areas outside the project.

At the global level, ICIMOD was successful in introducing a new community-based approach in REDD+ that mainstreams the participation of local communities. This approach, pioneered by ICIMOD and its partners (www. communityforestry.org), is now a widely adopted strategy by REDD projects around the globe. ICIMOD was able to add value to the institution of community forestry, which was already successful in Nepal. ICIMOD, together with REDD Cell in Nepal, drafted a submission to the SBSTA 40 on non-market based approaches for REDD+. This was endorsed by the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group and it is now a position paper of LDCs.