From Sunday 4 November to Saturday 10 November the Ecosystem Alliance organized the Workshop “REDD+ A to Z, design and implementation”. Representatives from 17 conservation and community organisations from Indonesia, Philippines, Viet Nam, India, Ecuador and Ghana convened for a seven day workshop organised by the National Committee of IUCN in the Netherlands on the design and implementation of REDD+. Participants recognised an urgent need for the building of expertise on projects that use forest carbon finance for the conservation of projects with strong benefits for climate change, communities and biodiversity.
Possibilities were discussed to develop balanced approaches to carbon, other ecosystem functions, and community interests were explored.
Such an approach sees carbon as an important entry point through which finances can be generated for conservation and community-led programs to reduce or avoid deforestation. In many cases however, carbon finance alone will not suffice to sustain forest conservation and REDD+ initiatives.
The effectiveness and efficiency of such conservation programs can enhanced if other ecosystem functions are taking into account. Our projects demonstrate that in many cases payments for other ecosystem functions, notably water, can leverage finance and provide a vitally important additional source of income.
Community interests should be safeguarded. Local governments should be engaged to clarify and safeguard tenure. Community involvement should be strategic and challenges specific to their local situations should be overcome. Climate finance should incentivise the preparation and implementation of forest carbon projects on that basis.
Such an integrated community and carbon approach would put communities in charge without burdening them too much. Upfront finance would be needed for community led forest carbon initiatives and benefit sharing