Article

Social equity and livelihood implications of REDD+ in rural communities - A case study from Nepal

Authors:
  • REDD Implementation Center, Nepal
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

Despite growing international consensus that the use of the policy instrument REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation in developing countries) could be an effective way to reduce carbon emissions from the forestry sector and support bio-diversity with livelihood benefits, there are a range of unresolved issues, including potential implications for rural livelihoods. This paper presents results from recent research that examines social equity and livelihood implications of the piloting of REDD+ through Nepal’s community forestry system, within selected villages in the Gorkha district of Nepal. The research reveals the varying experiences of households, closely correlated to the socio-economic attributes of the households. Despite the ‘no harm and equitable’ policy, this research indicates that not everyone is experiencing the anticipated benefits of REDD+. Although poorer, women-headed and marginalized households are targeted in some ways (e.g. seed grants), the support is limited, and inadequately compensates the loss they have experienced in other ways (e.g. limited access to forests). Households bundling by caste may not necessarily address equity, but is likely to increase intra-caste marginalization.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... (M. Poudel et al., 2015)reported that locals have been deprived of obtaining required resources firewood, fodder, timber, and grazing in particularfrom community forests because of the REDD+ pilot. A similar situation was also noted during the assessment. ...
... Although some supports, including awareness and skills enhancement, seed grants for Income Generation Activities (IGA), and support for Improved Cooking Stoves (ICS) were provided, these supports led to a negligible change in the traditional attitudes and behavior of CFUGs (M. Poudel et al., 2015). Likewise, since REDD+ was not initiated by local communities but implemented by international NGOs, most villagers lacked knowledge about it and the associated benefits of the pilot project, thus fewer villagers were found to be motivated to participate in the pilot project (D. ...
... (M. Poudel et al., 2015) also reported that women, Dalit women, in particular, lacked proper information about REDD+ and its potential implications for them. ...
Article
Full-text available
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) projects are implemented to incentivize good forest management practices. For promoting effective social and environmental safeguards, following the Copenhagen meeting, REDD+ Social and Environmental Standards (SES) were formulated in 2009 to contribute toward poverty reduction, human rights, and biodiversity conservation. Of the total 15 countries have either completed or are developing SES. Nepal will become the second country after Brazil (Acre) to publish its first REDD+ SES Assessment Report. This paper shares Nepal's findings on REDD+SES framework preparation, and associated processes including the assessment report. Despite efforts, there is no standard format for the assessment report- making the interpretation and inferences difficult to compare against the SES standards. Likewise, many indicators are objective, lacking detailed horizontal and vertical linkages- in times depicting partial and incomplete scenarios. This study involved desk review, consultations (with 130 individuals), interactive workshops, and community visits (In Dolakha, Gorkha, and Kailali districts). We found out that there is a need to define indicators’ thresholds to depict the different levels of achievements. Likewise, we show that there is a clear need to prepare a standard reporting format for SES. By defining thresholds for indicators, interpretations will be meaningful and by designing a standard reporting format temporal and spatial comparisons will be easier. Likewise, we find that REDD+ implementation lacks the required capacity at the district and local level for proper implementation including the need to ensure direct benefits to community forest users. We present Nepal's learning and recommendations on these shortcomings as nations attempt to formulate their respective REDD+ safeguards and assessment report.
... Unless specifically targeted within the project, impacts were often unequal across segments of society, varying with gender ethnicity, economic status and sometimes occupation (Poudel et al., 2015). The gendered outcomes of interventions tended to reproduce existing hierarchies and inequalities. ...
... The impacts of REDD+ appear to differ depending on livelihood strategy, occupation and forest dependence, with a greater reliance on forest access or forest products associated with greater negative impacts. Due to limited alternative livelihood strategies, or lower original wealth, poorer households were more negatively affected by REDD+ projects; they had less land, fewer private trees and could not afford alternative energy sources (Poudel et al., 2015;Nathan and Pasgaard, 2017). Communities sometimes lost access to agricultural lands or grazing rangelands in order to create community forests or REDD+ areas, which resulted in increases in forest resources, but declines in other livelihood options, and these were differentially experienced by different stakeholder groups. ...
... Communities sometimes lost access to agricultural lands or grazing rangelands in order to create community forests or REDD+ areas, which resulted in increases in forest resources, but declines in other livelihood options, and these were differentially experienced by different stakeholder groups. In Nepal, goat herders were displaced from their grazing area and blacksmiths had reduced access to charcoal due to the restrictions imposed by the REDD+ project, yet did not receive compensation, leading to negative impacts (Poudel et al., 2014(Poudel et al., , 2015. In the Bale Mountain ecoregion REDD+ project (Ethiopia) the majority of residents were excluded from the forest dwellers association and were denied access to the forest, without compensation (Duker et al., 2019). ...
Book
Full-text available
In 2012, IUFRO launched the GFEP report “Understanding Relationships between Biodiversity, Carbon, Forests and People: The Key to Achieving REDD+ Objectives”. It analysed the implications of the newly evolving REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation; conservation of forest carbon stocks; sustainable management of forests; and enhancement of forest carbon stocks) framework of the UNFCCC and potential impacts of activities foreseen under REDD+. The publication received considerable attention from policymakers and stakeholders and was used as guidance for policy development and implementation related to REDD+. In the ten years since the publication of the report, REDD+ has made considerable progress and the landscape of related international agreements has also expanded. UN Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. REDD+ contributes directly to achieving SDG 13 on Climate Action and SDG 15 on Life on Land, and indirectly to several other SDGs. Most recently, the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use confirmed the critical role of forests in meeting the SDGs and combatting climate change while maintaining other ecosystem services. At the same time, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is negotiating a post-2020 global biodiversity framework to respond to the continuing rapid decline of biodiversity. However, the gap between the political will to meet these global goals and their successful implementation still needs to be closed. In light of this, a thorough scientific review of the REDD+ framework, its impacts and its successes in meeting the related goals, is a timely response to the ongoing global discussions. This report titled “Forests, Climate, Biodiversity and People: Assessing a Decade of REDD+” revisits the questions examined in the earlier GFEP assessment, and analyses and synthesises scientific information published and lessons learned since 2012.
... However, concerns have been raised about the potential and actual impacts of REDD+ on forest-dependent communities and marginalised social groups as it can limit their access to land and forest resources (Sikor and Hoang, 2016;Hoang et al., 2019). Increasing numbers of implemented pilot projects have shown these anticipated risks to be very real and carry the potential to undermine forest conservation (Myers et al., 2018;Milne et al., 2019;Lund et al., 2017;Massarella et al., 2018;Bayrak and Marafa, 2016;Larson et al., 2018;Saito-Jensen et al., 2014;Poudel et al., 2015). These studies tend to show that the lack of attention to social differentiation is a major issue, particularly in terms of both the inclusion and relative impacts upon minority and historically marginalised groups. ...
... These studies tend to show that the lack of attention to social differentiation is a major issue, particularly in terms of both the inclusion and relative impacts upon minority and historically marginalised groups. Even where interventions have attempted to target disadvantaged social groups, often it has been the wealthiest, most powerful who tend to T benefit from such interventions (Saito-Jensen et al., 2014;Lund et al., 2014;Poudel et al., 2015). ...
... Past research on REDD+ has taken benefit distribution and opportunity costs at the core of analysis, while issues of socio-cultural contexts, including the relationship of social differentiation and gender have been less explored (Mbatu, 2016;Blom et al., 2010). Recognising this gap in research, this paper focuses on the dynamics of social differentiation and impacts of REDD+ projects in Nepal, particularly their implications for distribution, recognition and procedural justice in a context of socially-differentiated access to REDD+ activities and forest resources based on income, gender, caste and ethnicity (Saito-Jensen et al., 2014;Lund et al., 2014;Poudel et al., 2015). We explore not only how already existing social differences and interactions affect REDD+ projects but also whether and how REDD+ projects take into account such dimensions. ...
Article
Full-text available
Policies and projects aimed at Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, and the sustainable management of forests and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+), have been regarded as an opportunity to improve forest governance while supporting rural livelihoods. However, now that REDD+ policies are being increasingly implemented, a number of justice-related challenges have emerged, including how social heterogeneity should be approached to avoid deepening the unequal access to land, resources and livelihood opportunities or even violating human rights in rural contexts. Applying an environmental justice lens, this article analyses the experience of three local communities in Nepal participating in REDD+ pilot projects, focusing on how indigenous peoples, women and Dalits have participated in and been affected by such initiatives. Our research shows that the studied REDD+ pilot activities in Nepal have been, to some extent, able to recognise, empower and benefit certain social groups, indigenous women in particular, whilst Dalits (parti-cularly Dalit women) had a different experience. REDD+ projects have had limited impact in addressing more entrenched processes of political discrimination, male dominance in decision-making, and uneven participation driven by spatial considerations or specific social targeting approaches. While the projects examined here have been partially just, and rather sensitive to existing patterns of social differentiation, the complexity of social differentiation still makes it difficult to operationalise environmental justice in REDD+ implementation. Hence, we conclude that deficits in distributive, recognition and procedural justice cannot be resolved without first addressing wider issues of social injustices throughout Nepal, historically inherited along the dimensions of class, caste, ethnicity, gender, and spatiality.
... Interestingly, women were also disadvantaged in program models and practices that were designed and implemented by national and international organizations. These had the working mission of alleviating social marginalization and poverty of local communities, including women (Poudel et al. 2015;Dhakal 2014;Khadka et al. 2014). Many studies have concluded that generationally and institutionally determined decision making opportunities and power differentials resulted in women being disadvantaged in PES regimes (Bee 2019;Benjamine et al. 2018;Gregory and Schwartz 2017;Bee and Basnett 2016;Kariuki and Birner 2016). ...
... They have investigated mostly at the output level and on the fairness of payment distribution between households (Grima et al. 2016;Arora-Jonsson 2014;García-Amadoa et al. 2011, Hegde andBull 2011;Ratsimbazafy et al. 2011;Corbera et al. 2007). Some studies have considered gender as a contributing factor for the success of environmental resources conservation and determining benefit sharing (Grima et al. 2016;Poudel et al. 2015;Arora-Jonsson 2014;Daw et al. 2011;Garcia-Amadoa et al. 2011). The problems of the agricultural sector cannot be adequately extrapolated, based on the findings from other areas (including forestry) because the agricultural sector differs in management practices, the scope of various ecosystem services and the mechanisms by which these affect the lives and livelihoods of the community (Robertson et al. 2014;Sayer et al. 2013). ...
... However their technical and financial supports have resulted in the opposite. They intervened in national policies and community practices for the sake of protecting forest and wildlife for global (distant users) benefits which have destroyed forest resource-based livestock farming systems, an engine of farming economy vitality and the livelihoods of mountain people (Poudel et al. 2015;Dhakal et al. 2011). This approach of land use for foreign benefit is termed ''land grab'' in the literature and resulting locking out the local community (Ellis and Mehrabi 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
This study assesses the potential impacts of Payment for Ecosystems Services (PES) of mountain agricultural landscapes, with a specific focus on the implications for Nepalese farming women, who have triple roles (managers, workers, and users) with ecosystems goods and services (ESs). It utilizes data of mixed sources: direct observations in the fields, discussions with farm and development workers and published materials. The assessment shows that the impacts of PES on the wellbeing of these women vary with input, process and output pathways. Many farm activities for promoting ESs increase uses of land and labour inputs which can exacerbate workload, health, financial and local food security problems, and hamper meeting the immediate needs of farming women. The extent of input pathway effects depends more on the choice of activity over the type of ES. The production, marketing, and policy-related processes of the PES enhance education, empowerment, entrepreneurship and leadership, and contribute to meeting the strategic needs of the women. The PES increases income, cash flow and employment and improves living environmental conditions. The outputs provide better social protection, offset the adverse effects associated with increasing input uses, and contribute to meeting the women’s basic and strategic needs. Improvement in ES conditions provides additional benefits for farming women over men due to specific requirements associated with their unique body physiology and reproductive function. Appropriate designing and serious implementation are, however, the preconditions of the policy to result in the positive impacts.
... Nowadays, forests and other public lands traditionally used by local communities are primarily managed for environmental conservation and other benefits of outsiders. The government has managed the resources by following policy guidance, technical support, and financial assistance from international agencies since the 1970s [39][40][41][42][43]. The forests and protected areas have now covered over half the areas of the nation's territory [24,44]. ...
... Under the international climate forestry policy, the government must retain the traded quantity of forest carbon in the forest site indefinitely, otherwise, the trading makes no sense in climate change mitigation. The policy has compelled local communities to give up using the forest resources that the community needs for basic survival purposes [41,43]. Using the forests for trading forest carbon with foreign agencies and protected areas can be considered a compromise of national sovereignty [125]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Many measures of international policies and support have dictated developing countries to upscale land areas of intact forestry, special biodiversity conservation site, and other wild reserves to half the land territory of the nation by 2050 for resulting environmental, and other benefits to global societies. The international initiations and work urged scholars to assess the potential impacts of the aggressive policy on forest-based communities and especially those living in institutionally and geo ecologically vulnerable areas. This study compiled the impacts of such international policy interventions on diverse affairs of the local community and national economies in Nepal and drew some conclusions on the well-being future of such forest-based communities. It explained that the international interventions in managing community-based resources induced serious disturbances in many local systems and resulted in vicious circles of emigration, income losses, social problems, psychological stresses, and food insecurities. The interventions have placed some communities and especially endogenous ethnic groups in the position either to be displaced from their ancestors’ homelands or suffer for generations. This study also explained some reinforcing phenomena that emerged from the external interventions which have placed situations of the resource impacting local communities adversely for years. It also investigated whether support of international agencies in policy formation and implementation for resource management safeguards the well-being of the resource-based communities. The agencies resulted in the best environmental and other benefits to foreign societies which have aggravated the misery of local communities, particularly the poor people, women, and indigenous ethnic communities. The adverse impacts on the societies are not repercussions (accidentally or unknowingly happened). All these findings infer that the international policies of upscaling forests and wilderness areas or making conservation areas in half of their land territory, especially in developing societies for the global benefit, may place the lives of the forest-based communities in peril of suffering for generations or extirpating.
... The equitable distribution of burdens and rewards between individuals or groups of people is a central pillar of sustainable development (WCED, 1990) and a key criterion for successful environmental governance (Adger et al., 2003;Klein et al., 2015). Equity in obtaining benefits from natural resources is related to resource access, decision-making roles, a fair share in outcomes, livelihood security and respect for the choices and priorities of local communities (Corbera et al., 2007;Poudel et al., 2015). However, forest conservation and management actions can benefit some groups more than others, and this raises questions about their sustainability (Klein et al., 2015). ...
... Such acknowledgement calls for respect for social and cultural differences that are likely to result in different desired outcomes. Given that equity is a fundamental principle in ensuring community involvement in forest conservation and management (Poudel et al., 2015) and the growing recognition of the need for consideration of equity in PES, an equity framework was used as the fundamental basis for analysis and used to explore the relationships between equity and efficiency in PES schemes from both theoretical and practical points of view. ...
Article
Despite widespread implementation of payments for ecosystem services (PES), benefits to poor people in developing countries have been limited. The success of PES varies with the local context, policy environment and PES design and its implementation. Until recently, there have been few studies of factors that might contribute to the success of PES and associated outcomes. Ex-ante analysis of design considerations is critical in developing a robust and sustainable PES scheme. This research aimed to determine the key elements of PES design and prioritise those likely to support successful PES for community-managed forests using a case in the Phewa watershed in western Nepal. Community perceptions and expert opinion were used to identify 19 design considerations relevant to stakeholders. These were integrated into a PES design index. Analysis using this index indicated that livelihoods, pro-poor participation, tenure arrangements, transaction and opportunity costs, payment structures and government policy were perceived as most important to stakeholders. Although the effectiveness of a PES scheme has often been measured economically or biologically, our results indicate that the most important design considerations for stakeholders were policy, social, financial and institutional arrangements. The analysis indicated that there are often trade-offs between equity, efficiency, and effectiveness involved in achieving livelihood improvements for rural poor and, consequently, the longer-term sustainability of a PES scheme.
... However, REDD + was not found to be an attractive marketbased option for the CFUGs when all the additional costs and foregone benefits of the project were taken into account. The research in the Gorkha district of Nepal showed varying experiences of households, closely correlated with the socio-economic attributes of the households, indicating that the anticipated benefits of REDD+ are not experienced by all members of the communities (Poudel et al., 2015). While activities and networking, as well as the sources of the CFUGs' income appeared to have been improved, the autonomy of CFUGs as independent decision-making institutions and the customary access rights to forests were both limited (Poudel et al., 2014). ...
... While this study investigates perceptions based only on the proximity criteria, other researchers have studied perceptions based on gender, livelihood options, ethnicity and well-being (see e.g. Poudel et al., 2015;Khadka et al., 2014). ...
Article
Although local communities and indigenous peoples are the main actors for REDD + practices, their needs and perceptions have received little attention in the debates on REDD +, despite much rhetoric to the contrary. In this study, a Collaborative Forest Management (CFM) site was studied using a questionnaire survey administered to a CFM user group in order to understand CFM users' perceptions and knowledge of their forest and REDD + and evaluate their expectations for potential REDD + benefits. Specifically, the study investigated the following questions: Do CFM users know about REDD +? Are there any differences in the perceptions and expectations among nearby and distant users?
... Many scholars believe that REDD+ will have considerable implications on the livelihoods of local communities such as deprivation in resource requirement, displacement of traditional goat herders, risking existence of blacksmiths with tightened wood supply (Poudel, Thwaites, Race, & Dahal, 2015); benefit sharing framework of uneven distribution (Howson & Kindon, 2015); and reducing contribution to poverty alleviation by marginalizing and criminalizing the artisanal and small-scale mining sector (Hirons, 2011). On the contrary, parallel studies involving participatory forest management (PFM) such as community forestry (CF) and community-based forest management (CBFM) saw the direct link between resource conservation incentives and/or benefits to household's livelihoods (Karki, 2013;Nath & Inoue, 2010;Mohammed et al., 2016). ...
... Sustainable livelihood is taken by many scholars as a co-benefit of REDD+ (IPCC, 2014;Poudel et al. 2015;Howson & Kindon, 2015;Hirons, 2011;Angelsen, 2009). However, Visseren-Hamakers et al. (2012) interpreted this together with biodiversity conservation and equity as preconditions to the legitimacy and effectiveness of REDD+. ...
Article
Full-text available
p class="1Body">The forestry sector in the developing world has been continuously challenged by the unsustainability of forest resources and the threat of climate change. Reducing Emissions from Forest Degradation and Deforestation (REDD+) was launched to address the problem, and the Philippines accepted the challenge by undergoing the 10-year phased process. Using the sustainable livelihoods framework, this paper examines the challenges of REDD+ implementation in the Philippines using the case of Southern Leyte REDD+ pilot area and highlights the co-benefits and trade-offs of pilot project activities on the five (5) capital assets. Our findings suggest greater impacts of CBFM on the key indicators of change than REDD+. There is very high association of the natural and financial capital assets with REDD+ pilot project activities, yet financial benefit is short-lived. Local people highly regarded the contribution of assisted natural regeneration and reforestation activities in sequestering carbon, while agroforestry is perceived to sustain agricultural production in the future. The major drawback of REDD+ pilot project activities is that it perpetuates the failures of CBFM initiatives giving little attention to sustainable livelihood objectives. Forest conservation policy like REDD+ as a mechanism for addressing climate change can still be adopted by local communities if livelihood capital assets will be further enhanced.</p
... Several scholars have pointed out how the REDD+ project managed to bring socio-economic impacts, such as small scale and rural livelihood (Harrison, 2015;Harvey et al., 2018;Poudel et al., 2015;Pouliot et al., 2012;Than et al., 2016). On the other hand, it also proved that this mechanism came with risk, inequity, and disappointment. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper discusses the dynamics of environmental interventions supported by aid projects and community responses as the subject of intervention. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, I looked into how connections between local and global entities occurred, between the local villagers in Central Kalimantan and the climate mitigation project of REDD +. Both of these entities met when the global discourse on climate change started to gain ground. This paper discusses how environmental interventions lead to different expectations and unintended consequences. I see community responses as choices and decisions which were historically constructed. These choices, expectations, and decisions are related to people’s experience with previous intervention agents and local livelihood dynamics. This local-global interaction has yielded unintended outcomes and led to different expectations for a REDD+’s demonstration activities project. When these two entities - local people and KFCP (Kalimantan Forest Climate Partnership) - meet in the global agenda to mitigate climate change, friction emerges due to a variety of interests in the village. My findings demonstrate how a reforestation program could lead to a socio-economic inequality. Land conflicts are likely to occur because of alternative livelihood programs which introduced rubber seeds.
... The degree of community harmony has a significant impact on farmers' participation in decision-making regarding forest carbon sinks [8]. In fact, farmers' participation in GHGs emission reduction projects is a collective action in line with Ostrom's theory of public pond resource governance. ...
Article
Full-text available
The development of the greenhouse gas (GHGs) voluntary emission reduction market has created a new way for all agricultural GHGs emission reduction projects. Figuring out how to drive farmers to participate in the market is the key to the development of the agricultural voluntary emission reduction project mechanism. Current research on farmers’ participation in voluntary emission reduction projects has mostly been conducted from the perspective of the economic, social, and ecological benefits of the project and lacks research on analyzing farmers’ willingness to participate in combination with specific GHGs operational mechanisms. To find out how the operational mechanism of the field water management voluntary emission reduction (FWMVER) projects influences farmers’ willingness to participate in the project, this study constructed the attitude–context–behavior theoretical framework to consider the FWMVER operational mechanism. Based on the survey data of 789 rice farmers in GuangXi, China, the structural equation model (SEM) was adopted to analyze the impact of social networks, social trust, social norms, profit expectations, cost expectations, and satisfaction with the government in relation to the farmers’ willingness to participate in FWMVER projects. Results showed that social networks, social trust, social norms, profit expectations, cost expectations, and satisfaction with the government had significant impacts on the willingness of farmers to participate in FWMVER projects. Satisfaction with the government can effectively regulate the profit expectations and cost expectations for farmers to participate in the FWMVER projects. Policy implications were proposed based on analytical results to advise local governments to develop agricultural carbon finance, to improve public services in agricultural production, and to encourage establishing non-governmental organizations in rural areas involved in voluntary agricultural GHGs emission reduction projects.
... Moreover, earning the cooperation of decision-makers in many countries with a restoration initiative that involves substantial loss of agricultural land would require a complicated political process, as would developing a program to compensate communities whose livelihoods are displaced [24]. Similar compensation programs have struggled in the past [63][64][65], and it is not clear how an initiative to substantially increase restoration in the tropics would overcome this hurdle. Of course, many other analysts also point out the possible benefits of concentrating restoration and conservation interventions in the tropics. ...
Article
Full-text available
A growing number of studies seek to identify global priority areas for conservation and restoration. These studies often produce maps that highlight the benefits of concentrating such activity in the tropics. However, the potential equity implications of using these prioritization exercises to guide global policy are less often explored and articulated. We highlight those equity issues by examining a widely publicized restoration priority map as an illustrative case. This map is based on a prioritization analysis that sought to identify places where restoration of agricultural land might provide the greatest biodiversity and carbon sequestration benefits at the lowest cost. First, we calculate the proportion of agricultural land in countries around the world that the map classifies as a top 15% restoration priority. A regression analysis shows that this map prioritizes restoration in countries where displacing agriculture may be most detrimental to livelihoods: countries that are poorer, more populated, more economically unequal, less food secure, and that employ more people in agriculture. Second, we show through another regression analysis that a similar pattern appears sub-nationally within the tropics: 5 km × 5 km parcels of land in the tropics that are less economically developed or more populated are more likely to be top 15% restoration priorities. In other words, equity concerns persist at a subnational scale even after putting aside comparisons between the tropics and the Global North. Restorative activity may be beneficial or harmful to local livelihoods depending on its conceptualization, implementation, and management. Our findings underline a need for prioritization exercises to better attend to the risks of concentrating potentially negative livelihood impacts in vulnerable regions. We join other scholars calling for greater integration of social data into restoration science.
... The changes adversely impact on local food security and further increase reliance on imported food from somewhere else (Kc and Race 2019). Some impacts of the carbon forestry policy have been already seen in the communities (Dhakal et al. 2010;Poudel et al 2015;Khatri et al 2019;Dhakal et al. 2022a). ...
... Tropical deforestation is largely driven by the expansion of agriculture and tree plantations to meet the increasing demands of global supply chains, mainly in beef and oilseeds (Henders et al., 2015;Pendrill et al., 2019a,b). Knowledge of the spatiotemporal patterns of forest disturbance can greatly contribute toward the conservation efforts; however, forest-based interventions will ultimately be effective only if framed within a critical political ecology perspective, and when the current economic model-the main driver of global deforestation-is challenged (McAfee, 2012;Nielsen, 2014;Poudel et al., 2015;Bayrak and Marafa, 2016;Asiyanbi et al., 2017). Satellite remote sensing is the most suitable tool for estimating rates and areas of forest canopy loss at large spatial scales and in remote regions (Achard et al., 2010). ...
Article
Full-text available
In the last decades tropical forests have experienced increased fragmentation due to a global growing demand for agricultural and forest commodities. Satellite remote sensing offers a valuable tool for monitoring forest loss, thanks to the global coverage and the temporal consistency of the acquisitions. In tropical regions, C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data from the Sentinel-1 mission provides cloud-free and open imagery on a 6- or 12-day repeat cycle, offering the unique opportunity to monitor forest disturbances in a timely and continuous manner. Despite recent advances, mapping subtle forest losses, such as those due to small-scale and irregular selective logging, remains problematic. A Cumulative Sum (CuSum) approach has been recently proposed for forest monitoring applications, with preliminary studies showing promising results. Unfortunately, the lack of accurate in-situ measurements of tropical forest loss has prevented a full validation of this approach, especially in the case of low-intensity logging. In this study, we used high-quality field measurements from the tropical Forest Degradation Experiment (FODEX), combining unoccupied aerial vehicle (UAV) LiDAR, Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS), and field-inventoried data of forest structural change collected in two logging concessions in Gabon and Peru. The CuSum algorithm was applied to VV-polarized Sentinel-1 ground range detected (GRD) time series to monitor a range of canopy loss events, from individual tree extraction to forest clear cuts. We developed a single change metric using the maximum of the CuSum distribution, retrieving location, time, and magnitude of the disturbance events. A comparison of the CuSum algorithm with the LiDAR reference map resulted in a 78% success rate for the test site in Gabon and 65% success rate for the test site in Peru, for disturbances as small as 0.01 ha in size and for canopy height losses as fine as 10 m. A correlation between the change metric and above ground biomass (AGB) change was found with R ² = 0.95, and R ² = 0.83 for canopy height loss. From the regression model we directly estimated local AGB loss maps for the year 2020, at 1 ha scale and in percentages of AGB loss. Comparison with the Global Forest Watch (GFW) Tree Cover Loss (TCL) product showed a 61% overlap between the two maps when considering only deforested pixels, with 504 ha of deforestation detected by CuSum vs. 348 ha detected by GFW. Low intensity disturbances captured by the CuSum method were largely undetected by GFW and by the SAR-based Radar for Detecting Deforestation (RADD) Alert System. The results of this study confirm this approach as a simple and reproducible change detection method for monitoring and quantifying fine-scale to high intensity forest disturbances, even in the case of multi-storied and high biomass forests.
... The community forest management approach ensures and encourages the active participation of local people in the forest management where local communities are provided with a certain degree of responsibility and authority for the forest management is regarded as the most effective way of addressing the subsistence needs of local people (Khadka et al., 2021;Bijaya et al., 2016). The total funds collected in the CF account are to be allocated in such a way that 25% of it should contribute the forest development, conservation, and management, 35% of the funds should be invested in women, dalits 1 , Indigenous and underprivileged groups considering the well-being ranking of CF members (Poudel et al., 2015;Rijal et al., 2021). The rest of the funds can be spent on community development activities with community consent during general assembly (Community Forestry Division, 2014). ...
Article
Full-text available
This research was conducted to find out the relationship between Community Forests User Groups (CFUGs), local government, and provincial government concerning monitoring and management ownership. The benefit-sharing mechanism in community forestry has always been a point of discussion to deal with, that follows the share given by law and constitution. In this study, different stakeholders were interviewed to record the actual views of CFUGs, local political leaders, forest officials and others on forest use and management responsibility in the context of federal restructuring of Nepal. CFUGs along with local political leaders were found favoring to hand over the monitoring and management responsibility to the local government, whereas the forest officials were reluctant on this proposed arrangement. The forest officers considered that giving the functions of monitoring and management responsibilities to the local government would destroy the past successful history of community forestry in Nepal, and it would turn to massive deforestation along with degradation of forests in the name of development. Being the policy formulation process occurring on a provincial and local levels, a lack of coordination among local governments and CFUGs may create a major challenge in the forest management and utilization of resources. The benefit-sharing mechanism in both the scientifically managed and traditionally managed forests was found not following the provisions of the Forest Act, 2019 and 1993. In particular context of pro-poor livelihood activities and coordination with local government during the community development activities reflect weak governance. Proper coordination and cooperation among three tiers of government are necessary through involving the CFUGs in the local government planning process and support to CFUGs.
... on their use, putting in question community members' abilities to use this 'capital' for productive purposes (Bayrak and Marafa 2017,Scheba and Scheba 2017). In 'mixed' cases, communities lost agricultural lands or grazing rights (and thus livestock) to the creation of a community forest or REDD+ area(Poudela 2014, Poudel et al 2015, Scheba and Scheba 2017, trading increases in forest resources for decreases in food production resources. Awareness raising and training activities contributed to knowledge sharing and increased human capital in somecases (Atela et al 2015, Bayrak and Marafa 2017, ...
Article
Full-text available
Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) has emerged as an important and cost-effective climate change mitigation strategy internationally. In many localities around the world, REDD+ and related interventions have been superimposed on, and overlap with, existing decentralized institutional arrangements such as community forests. These interventions often modify local institutions through new rules and practices that comply with mostly carbon-related objectives, prompting questions about the compatibility of a top-down mechanism such as REDD+ with the decentralized approaches of community forestry. Thus, we asked: are REDD+ interventions in community forests enhancing or detracting from communities’ abilities to practice adaptive management and governance—key desired components of local social-ecological resilience and the ability of communities to respond to disturbance and global change? We conducted a systematic review of studies examining REDD+ interventions in community forests. We extracted data on 59 case studies reported on in 43 articles, stemming from 14 countries, with two thirds of the cases located in two countries alone. Our meta-analysis found that REDD+ has had mixed impacts on communities’ social-ecological resilience. Increases in network ties, connectivity across scales, and increased participation in decision making are indicators of enhanced potential for local adaptability. However, we also see that, through restrictions on local forest practices, rigidity in rules, and communities’ natural capital being locked into carbon contracts, REDD+ has limited communities’ ability to manage for uncertainty. While not representative of all existing REDD+ projects, our results suggest important implications for REDD+ policymakers and forest-reliant communities engaging in REDD+. Reconciling REDD+ goals with the need for forest communities to retain adaptive capacity will be a challenge moving forward, particularly if REDD+ compromises the ability of forest-reliant communities to respond to unexpected shocks or their ability to adapt to changing environmental or economic conditions.
... As data from the Global Forest Watch show in Nigeria, deforestation had increased steadily since 2012, reaching a 14-year peak in 2014 --a period when the Anti-deforestation Task Force was most active [84]. Therefore, exclusionary policies (like the moratorium) which undermine local property rights also tend to exacerbate deforestation and degradation [85,86]. While some studies [87] claim that devolution of forest control may not necessarily lead to improved local and regional forest conditions, we argue that devolution also requires that we reframe such questions as: what constitutes forest improvement and who gets to define it? ...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper analyses the design and implementation of REDD+ in the West African region, an important global biodiversity area. Drawing on in-depth interviews, analysis of policy documents and observation of everyday activities, we sought to understand how REDD+ has been designed and implemented in Nigeria and Ghana. We draw on tools from political ecology to examine how, and why REDD+ takes the form it does in these countries. We focus on three key dimensions that emerged as strong areas of common emphasis in our case studies -- capacity building, carbon visibility, and property rights. First, we show that, while REDD+ design generally foregrounds an ostensible inclusionary politics, its implementation is driven through various forms of exclusion. This contradictory inclusion-exclusion politics, which is partly emblematic of the neoliberal provenance of the REDD+ policy, is also a contingent reality and a strategy for navigating complexities and pursuing certain interests. Second, we show that though the emergent foci of REDD+ implementation in our case studies align with global REDD+ expectations, they yet manifest as historically and geographically contingent processes that reflect negotiated and contested relations among actors that constitute the specific national circumstance of each country. We conclude by reflecting on the wider implications of these findings for understanding REDD+ implementation more broadly.
... As data from the Global Forest Watch show in Nigeria, deforestation had increased steadily since 2012, reaching a 14-year peak in 2014 --a period when the Anti-deforestation Task Force was most active [84]. Therefore, exclusionary policies (like the moratorium) which undermine local property rights also tend to exacerbate deforestation and degradation [85,86]. While some studies [87] claim that devolution of forest control may not necessarily lead to improved local and regional forest conditions, we argue that devolution also requires that we re-pose question such as what constitutes forest improvement and who gets to define it? ...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper analyses the design and implementation of REDD+ in the West African region, an important global biodiversity area. Drawing on in-depth interviews, analysis of policy documents and observation of everyday activities, we sought to understand how REDD+ has been designed and implemented in Nigeria and Ghana. We draw on tools from political ecology to examine how, and why REDD+ takes the form it does in these countries. We focus on three key dimensions that emerged as strong areas of common emphasis in our case studies -- capacity building, carbon visibility, and property rights. First, we show that, while REDD+ design generally foregrounds an ostensible inclusionary politics, its implementation is driven through various forms of exclusion. This contradictory inclusion-exclusion politics, which is partly emblematic of the neoliberal provenance of the REDD+ policy, is also a contingent reality and a strategy for navigating complexities and pursuing certain interests. Second, we show that though the emergent foci of REDD+ implementation in our case studies align with global REDD+ expectations, they yet manifest as historically and geographically contingent processes that reflect negotiated and contested relations among actors that constitute the specific national circumstance of each country. We conclude by reflecting on the wider implications of these findings for understanding REDD+ implementation more broadly.
... Crop farming was the main occupation for 95% of HHs at OM-REDDþ and 85% of HHs at KS-REDDþ. Second was livestock farming (50% of HHs at OM and 47% of HHs at KS), followed by NTFP harvesting (17% at OM and 27% at KS). Hvalkof (2013) and Poudel et al. (2015) found that REDDþ could contribute to maintaining sustainable livelihoods, food security, dynamic subsistence, income generation, and employment opportunities. Our findings in both locations confirm that REDDþ projects have contributed to maintaining sustainable livelihoods and food security. ...
Article
Full-text available
Climate-change mitigation projects are expected to improve local livelihoods in targeted areas. Several REDD+ projects aimed at reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, conserving and enhancing forest carbon stocks, and sustainably managing forests have been implemented in Cambodia but few studies have examined the effects on local livelihoods before and during project implementation. Our study applies a sustainable livelihood framework to assess the livelihood assets of local communities in the Oddar Meanchey and Keo Seima REDD+ project sites in Cambodia before and during project implementation. Five capital assets, namely natural, physical, human, financial, and social capital, are assessed and scored on a 1-to-5 Likert scale. Data analysis collected through 252 interviews in Oddar Meanchey and Keo Seima reveals a slight increase in livelihood assets in both sites from project validation to implementation. Generally, the mean scores for local livelihood assets increased from 2.81 ± 0.07 (±is followed by the standard error) and 2.66 ± 0.06 to 3.07 ± 0.09 and 3.06 ± 0.08 in Oddar Meanchey and Keo Seima, respectively. Nevertheless, natural capital assets sharply declined from 3.50 and 3.32 to 2.09 and 2.25, respectively. Respondents mainly blamed illegal logging for the decline, suggesting that strict patrolling and enforcement must be implemented. Furthermore, the scarcity of carbon-credit buyers and the projects’ inability to generate carbon-based revenues has led to dissatisfaction among local communities, inducing avoidable illegal activities in pursuit of short-term benefits. A financial mechanism to ensure sufficient and sustained financial support regardless of carbon-market volatility is urgently needed.
... This research with the help of predominant literature suggests that many forest carbon projects might have an adverse impact on the livelihoods and economic condition of poor and marginal communities (Kansanga and Luginaah, 2019;Chomba et al., 2016;Sassi et al., 2014;Dressler et al., 2012;Jindal et al., 2012;Mahanty et al., 2012;Palmer and Silber, 2012). Though, the evidence is still limited in scale and needs to be strengthened through further research but the available research points towards iniquitous distribution of costs and benefits across different stakeholders in forest carbon projects (Pasgaard et al., 2016;Poudel et al., 2015;Schroeder and McDermott, 2014). It also lends credibility to the argument that such projects are transferring the burden of the emission reduction to the poor communities in the developing world (IEN 2012;AIDESEP 2010;Lohmann 2009;Lohmann 2011). ...
Article
Forest carbon projects, in addition to climate mitigation and conservation benefits, are expected to improve local livelihoods and contribute to poverty alleviation across developing countries. Despite substantial investments over last decade, there is limited empirical evidence on the livelihood impacts of these projects especially across different socioeconomic categories. This paper aims to contribute to this knowledge gap through an analysis of the livelihood impacts across small, medium and large categories of participating farmers in a forest carbon project from the state of Haryana in India. Data from 107 households have been analysed to study the impacts in terms of foregone crop, fodder and fuel wood benefits. The analysis suggests that the project has adversely affected the livelihoods of all three categories of farmers. However, small and marginal farmers are the most distressed due to their low incomes, asset base and risk-bearing capacities. It raises critical project design issues such as binding land use, delayed accrual of benefits, static opportunity costs and displacement of existing economic activities, which have serious livelihood and equity implications. Unless these issues are addressed and strong safety nets are provided, forest carbon projects might create more poverty than wellbeing for marginal communities.
... Evidence from Nigeria and Vietnam shows restriction of forest access compromises livelihoods (Asiyanbi, 2016;McElwee et al., 2016), and in Indonesia and Tanzania the land-use practises promoted by projects were not financially sustainable for local communities (Lounela, 2015;Svarstad and Benjaminsen, 2017). Furthermore, REDD+ projects can negatively impact those that are in greater need of project benefits, such as in Nepal, where tightened forest control restricted access to alternative livelihood resources for the poorest households despite benefit-sharing mechanisms (Poudel et al., 2015). To ensure the marginalisation of local people by REDD+ within logged forest is avoided, greater care should be made to create equity frameworks that avoid generalising across regions, involve locals in decision making and consider local context. ...
Chapter
Global timber demands have penetrated vast tracts of tropical rainforest, with selective logging the most powerful driver of human disturbance within these ecosystems. We review the consequences of timber harvesting on rainforest ecosystems, from individual species through to biological communities. We also investigate the benefits that forest-dwelling communities and wider society can derive from well-managed production forests. Selectively logged forests maintain a wide array of ecosystem services, and orders of magnitude higher levels of biodiversity and carbon storage than the agricultural lands that often imperil them. To unlock the full potential of logged forests in conserving biodiversity, tackling climate change and delivering ecosystem services into the Anthropocene will require several major transitions. These include a pantropical shift towards more environmentally sensitive logging practises, the fostering of new norms in tropical forestry based around long-term forest management, as well as coordinated efforts to limit the negative effects of logging roads, illegal logging and climate change. We discuss potential incentive and enforcement-based mechanisms for precipitating such transitions and highlight key avenues for future enquiry. Research frontiers include determining how best to spatially design logging operations to limit environmental impacts, quantifying the costs and benefits of post-logging activities aimed at recovering logged forest values, and investigating the role of concession licence structures in spawning sustainable forest management. Given their spatial dominance and high conservation value, lofty planetary goals to limit climate change and global biodiversity declines cannot be achieved unless selectively logged tropical forests take a central role in emerging conservation and emissions-reducing agendas.
... This is said to be compounded by the fact that forage legumes, including mucuna and lablab, are relatively new crops in the area and farmers do not have adequate knowledge of the crops and thus are hesitant to venture into such activities for fear of failure. Poudel et al. (2015) argued that if farmers appreciate and understand how to grow certain crop cultivars, they would continue to produce them in their fields, harvest and conserve seed where possible, and exchange seeds within their social networks. However, weaknesses have been sighted in such systems, which limit access to new varieties, technology and interaction with formal systems (Pautasso et al. 2012). ...
Article
Full-text available
Validating a framework of forage seed value chain analysis in Zimbabwe
... For instance, multiple 'cobenefits' are often sought in ecosystem interventions such as schemes to reduce carbon emission from deforestation, typically including goals supporting inclusive decision-making, respect for Indigenous Peoples' knowledge and fair distribution of costs and benefits (e.g. Angelsen, 2008;Chhatre et al., 2012;Poudel et al., 2015). This paradigm shift in environment and development policy has brought debates about social justice and governance quality to the forefront of sustainability science (e.g. ...
Article
Full-text available
Taking point of departure in the ambitious framework for 'safe and just operating spaces' for social-ecological systems, this paper explores the applicability of this conceptual framing. Specifically, we draw attention to limitations in the conceptualisation of justice as a question of attaining a minimal level of (material) wellbeing. With an empirical case from Laos, we apply a broader notion of environmental justice based on interconnected dimensions of distribution, procedure and recognition to examine the dynamic relationship between 'safe' and 'just' at village level, and we question how 'boundaries' of social and ecological sustainability are conceptualized and determined. Our findings illustrate important considerations for the way conservation interventions are rationalized and designed, in particular for the way social and environmental sustainability are portrayed and how governance is envisaged to function locally. This paper contributes to current sustainability debates on how to explore and integrate justice dimensions in development and conservation within human-defined planetary boundaries.
... Further, a global study found that individuals in REDD+ communities saw decreased well-being compared to control communities, with women in REDD+ communities experiencing greater declines than men in the same communities (Larson et al 2018). Once again, Nepal stands out as having somewhat bucked this trend, as several studies of REDD+ pilot projects have found the country's policies around REDD+ implementation have been more successful at ensuring benefits are targeted to women (Maraseni et al 2014, Poudel et al 2015, Sharma et al 2017. One reason for this may be because the formula used in Nepal to calculate carbon payments provides extra benefits to communities with higher shares of traditionally marginalized populations, including women, on their forest management committees, illustrating the importance of incentive structures in shaping local governance systems and benefit distribution . ...
Article
Full-text available
Background . Though many studies have long considered the broad social implications of climate change, researchers have only recently started to consider the gendered unevenness of the global landscape of vulnerability, exposure, and adaptive capacity to environmental stressors and shocks. Historically, policies and interventions addressing natural resource-based livelihoods have rarely considered underlying gender dynamics despite the global pervasiveness of gendered disparities in both economic opportunities and welfare outcomes. Methods/Design . Using two electronic databases, Web of Science and Scopus, we conducted a systematic review of peer-reviewed academic literature describing livelihoods policies or interventions that included documentation of gendered impacts. We focused on natural resource-based livelihoods most likely to be affected by climate change, centering on interventions targeting agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, and forestry. Review Results/Synthesis . We identified 131 relevant articles, most of which focus on adoption or participation in interventions rather than outcomes. In general, women are less likely than men to engage with sustainable livelihoods interventions. When women do engage, some researchers have documented income and food security gains as well as improvements in environmental indicators in the short-term. However, these initiatives have also been found to increase women’s labor burden without corresponding gains in income. Few studies measure longer-term effects of women’s engagement on welfare and environmental outcomes, a key gap in the literature. Additionally, relatively few studies explore the intersectional impacts of initiatives, such as the added burdens of ethnicity, class, education, or other differences that modify gender disparities. Discussion . Climate change has gendered impacts on natural resource-based livelihoods. In general, existing initiatives designed to increase livelihood resilience fail to reduce gender disparities and improve women’s livelihoods. Greater attention should be paid to gender when designing sustainable livelihoods policies and interventions in order to increase adoption and participation, negotiate trade-offs, improve environmental conditions, and promote broadly beneficial welfare outcomes.
... This is said to be compounded by the fact that forage legumes, including mucuna and lablab, are relatively new crops in the area and farmers do not have adequate knowledge of the crops and thus are hesitant to venture into such activities for fear of failure. Poudel et al. (2015) argued that if farmers appreciate and understand how to grow certain crop cultivars, they would continue to produce them in their fields, harvest and conserve seed where possible, and exchange seeds within their social networks. However, weaknesses have been sighted in such systems, which limit access to new varieties, technology and interaction with formal systems (Pautasso et al. 2012). ...
Article
Full-text available
In smallholder systems, farmers are increasingly becoming aware of the need to improve livestock productivity through production of quality fodder. This is in response to scarcity of feed, particularly in the dry season, associated with seasonal variations, land degradation and the need to meet increases in demand for livestock products. The study investigated forage seed production, marketing, challenges faced and opportunities along the value chain in Zimbabwe. Data were collected from 414 smallholder farmer households through a survey, four focus group discussions and 12 key informants. Results show that forage seed is mainly sourced from development organisations. Actors include farmer producers, seed companies, research and extension institutions, and NGOs. Seed is disseminated through sales to other farmers and organisations, sharing, seed exchanges and payment for services. Challenges include unavailability of seed, under-developed markets, weak or non-existent linkages between seed suppliers and farmers, limited knowledge on seed production and marketing, and low market prices. Forage seed have comparatively higher gross margins (US$611.61 for mucuna and US$644.14 for cowpea) compared with conventional seed such as maize (−US$382.70). Opportunities arise from the growing demand for animal products, which is associated with expanding populations and the need for improved nutrition.
... Users claimed that those who are in the decision-making structures are able to derive maximum benefit from the community forest. The CFUG forest protection ( Poudel et al. 2015) that has impacted on poor households through restrictions placed on forest products collection. Similar responses were obtained from the poor, indigenous and Dalit respondents of Janapragati CFUG in Chitwan district, Nepal (Bastakoti and Davidson 2017b). ...
Article
Full-text available
The multiple use forest management planning (MUFMP) approach was developed to implement the principle of sustainable forest management; in simplest terms, the balance of ecological, economic and socio-cultural values in forestry. This paper has two main objectives. First, it provides a critical review of the scientific papers addressing the fundamental characteristics of multiple use planning, including forest characterization, spatial planning, ecosystem services, forest policies and regulations, and decision-making tools. The second objective is to discuss and evaluate various approaches focusing on MUFMP's inherent strengths and weaknesses, as well as the future challenges in realizing the MUFMP concept. Critical analysis of the limitations of contemporary approaches are made to address the need for managing forest ecosystems for multiple values. The MUFMP approach is still dominated by a primary goal of timber production, as such, it requires more empirical data if it is to be used for holistic planning, more ecosystem services need to be characterized and stochastic elements are missing to address risks and uncertainties. Most Decision Support Systems (DSS) are tailored to local conditions and do not adequately address the trade-offs amongst multiple objectives. Other limitations include a challenge in characterizing and controlling spatial configuration of patches, inadequacy of dynamic models estimating the productivity of forests for various ecosystem services, and the limited institutional capacity for effective enforcement of legal frameworks. Finally, the review indicates a paradigm shift from plain problem solving with a solo timber production, to the development and structuring of a comprehensive approach, and most recently to the sustainable management of forest ecosystems for multiple goods and services with the effective use of DSS and participation.
... Users claimed that those who are in the decision-making structures are able to derive maximum benefit from the community forest. The CFUG forest protection (Poudel et al. 2015) that has impacted on poor households through restrictions placed on forest products collection. Similar responses were obtained from the poor, indigenous and Dalit respondents of Janapragati CFUG in Chitwan district, Nepal (Bastakoti and Davidson 2017b). ...
Article
Full-text available
The objectives of Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, forest conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+) can be achieved if communities are actively involved in and benefit from forest resource management. The study examined factors affecting justice in REDD+ benefit sharing in community forestry in Nepal’s Terai region. The most influential factors identified were the economic status of forest users, the decision-making process, conflicting issues within the community and the accountability of local leaders. Poor people are highly dependent on forest resources, while the rich benefit comparatively more from their control over decision-making structures. Rich people participate less in community development work but more in the decision-making mechanism in community forestry. The poorer representation of disadvantaged forest users in decision-making limits their influence on the accountability of the authorities to local needs. Democratically elected and accountable leadership creates opportunity for justice in REDD+ benefit sharing among users. Accountability towards poor and disadvantaged people could be improved by developing the leadership skills of the poor and disadvantaged forest users at local level. The factors described in the study affect justice in benefit sharing, and have policy implication for the success of REDD+ both at the local and regional level.
... Examples of such effects were highlighted in case reports from Nigeria and Vietnam where restrictions on forest access and clearing reportedly compromised livelihoods [46,49], and from Indonesia and Tanzania where land use practices being promoted were not financially sustainable for local communities [50,51]. Two case reports from Nepal and Tanzania showed some positive benefits for local people [52,53], yet another emphasized how Tanzanian REDD+ projects did not succeed in creating long-term alternative livelihood opportunities [48]. Finally, two reviews and multiple case reports emphasized that land tenure is still considered a major challenge for REDD+. ...
Article
The Paris Climate Agreement recognizes the importance of the mechanism to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, and enhance carbon stocks (REDD+). We reviewed 45 articles from the recent scientific literature to understand the outcomes of REDD+ interventions on the ground, in terms of local participation in REDD+, and its carbon and non-carbon (e.g. tenure, well-being, biodiversity) goals. Our review finds few studies that use a counterfactual scenario to measure REDD+ impacts, and relatively little attention to carbon (versus non-carbon) outcomes. The few studies focused on carbon/land use outcomes show moderately encouraging results, while the more numerous studies on non-carbon outcomes (especially well-being) highlight small or insignificant results. To enhance REDD+ performance, these studies recommend improved engagement with local communities, increased funding to bolster interventions on the ground, and more attention to both carbon and non-carbon outcomes in implementation and evaluation
... This analysis assumes that some livelihood activities including firewood and non-timber forest products collection are not affected by REDD+ activities. These products would be harder to compensate and restrictions would create more potential impacts, as evaluated in Nepal (Poudel et al., 2015;Karky and Skutsch, 2010). ...
Article
Equity is a sensitive topic discussed under the REDD+ mechanism. This study focuses on the impact of prevailing social and ecological conditions on the potential equity outcome of REDD+ intervention at the local level. Working at a REDD+ pilot project site in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we present a quantitative framework to assess contextual equity at the village level. We conducted a full community census on household characteristics and livelihood practices to evaluate current social conditions. We used participatory mapping and remote sensing analysis of a time series of very high resolution imagery over a 10-year period within the village boundaries to examine the ecological context of land use. We identify important differences between 379 households in terms of social characteristics and livelihoods practices. Social differentiation strongly relates to customary land rights as well as gender, ethnicity and origin. Using this case study, we find REDD+ activities that can be implemented under the prevailing ecological conditions could impact community members differently, by reducing access to land for a segment of the population that is already under stress, and therefore have implications on equity in both space and time. We identify important risks for sectors of the population that do not have the contextual features necessary for benefitting from REDD+ implementation and may be impacted, directly and indirectly, by decisions linked to benefit-sharing. We argue that such quantitative assessment is valuable to inform REDD+ policy design on the way livelihood practices and social characteristics are interlinked and how they affect forest cover change. This information can be used to anticipate potential equity issues that may arise with REDD+ implementation. We suggest that contextually informed definitions of the benefits and costs are critical for achieving equity in benefit-sharing. A flexible adaptive management and equity conscious approach is recommended from the policy design to implementation, by anticipating and mitigating potential risks of REDD+ interventions in order to promote equitable outcomes at the local level.
... Gezon 2014), and social equity (e.g. Poudel et al 2015) literatures were most commonly cited. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Conservation decisions not only impact wildlife, habitat, and environmental health, but also human wellbeing and social justice. The inclusion of safeguards and equity considerations in the conservation field has increasingly garnered attention in international policy processes and amongst conservation practitioners. Yet, what constitutes an 'equitable' solution can take many forms, and how the concept is treated within conservation research is not standardized. This review explores how social equity is conceptualized and assessed in conservation research. Methods/Design: Using a structured search and screening process, we identified 138 peer-reviewed studies that addressed equity in relation to conservation actions. The authors developed a coding framework to guide the review process, focusing on the current state of, definitions used for, and means of assessing social equity in empirical conservation research. Review Results: Results show that empirical research on social equity in conservation is rapidly growing, with the majority of studies on the topic published only since 2009. Equity within conservation research is skewed toward distributional concerns and to a lesser extent procedural issues, with recognition and contextual equity receiving little attention. Studies are primarily situated in forested biomes of the Global South. Conservation interventions mostly resulted in mixed or negative impacts on equity. Synthesis and Discussion: Our results demonstrate the current limitations of research on equity in conservation, and raise challenging questions about the social impacts of conservation and how to ameliorate equity concerns. Framing of equity within conservation research would benefit from greater transparency of study motivation, more explicit definition of how equity is used within the study context, and consideration for how best to assess it. We recommend that the empirical conservation literature more deeply engage with different notions of equity when studying, planning, and implementing actions to address potential trade-offs among equity and conservation objectives and beneficiaries.
... For the vast majority of programmes, we simply do not know their effectiveness [16][17][18] . Research has provided very mixed results when examining the effectiveness of forest PES [19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26] and watershed PES 17,27 , as well the programmes' impacts on social welfare 16,24,28,[29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37] . Like most conservation programmes, PES schemes are rarely established with a rigorous evaluation of effectiveness in mind 38,39 . ...
Article
Full-text available
Recent decades have witnessed a considerable increase in Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES)—programmes that exchange value for land management practices intended to provide or ensure ecosystem services—with over 550 active programmes around the globe and an estimated US$36–42 billion in annual transactions. PES represent a recent policy instrument with often very different programmes operating at local, regional and national levels. Despite the growth of these programmes, comprehensive and reliable data have proven difficult to find. This Analysis provides an assessment of the trends and current status of PES mechanisms—user-financed, government-financed and compliance—across the domains of water, biodiversity, and forest and land-use carbon around the world. We report the various dimensions of growth over the past decade (number of programmes, geographical spread, dollar value) to understand better the range of PES mechanisms over time and to examine which factors have contributed to or hindered growth. Four key features stand out for scaling up PES: motivated buyers, motivated sellers, metrics and low-transaction-cost institutions. A unique dataset of over 550 programmes of Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) worldwide, grouped into water, forest- and land-use carbon, and biodiversity programmes, is used to assess the trends and the current status of such policy instruments.
... This knowledge gap reduces the credibility and legitimacy of decentralized forestry and may constrain the effective implementation of emerging forest management programs, such as REDD+ (Arsel & Buscher, 2012;Fairhead, Leach, & Scoones, 2012;McAfee, 2012). Researchers, policy makers, and practitioners have therefore highlighted the need for empirical assessment and greater understanding of equity to reduce the potential for social conflicts and environmental degradation (e.g., Boyce, Narain, & Stanton, 2007;Patel et al., 2013;Poudel, Thwaites, Race, & Dahal, 2015;Smith & McDonough, 2001). ...
Article
Full-text available
We assessed the effectiveness of Nepalese Community Forestry Program (CFP) in increasing local perceptions of equity in benefit sharing. Our aim is to inform emerging forest policy that aims to mitigate climate change, promote biodiversity conservation, and address poverty and livelihood needs. We collected data from 1,300 households from nationally representative samples of 65 CFP communities and 65 non-CFP communities. By using a robust method of covariates matching, we demonstrate the unique and positive effect of the CFP on perception of equity in benefit sharing at national level and among poor, Dalits, indigenous and women-headed households and in the hills (except Terai). Our results suggest the need to continue the current benefit-sharing practices in CFP except in the Terai, where such practices need to be reviewed. However, caution should be taken in implementing emerging carbon-focused forestry so that it does not alter the CFP management sufficiently to conflict with equity goals and upend the generally positive effects on equity.
... As data from the Global Forest Watch show in Nigeria, deforestation has increased steadily since 2012, reaching a 14-year peak in 2014-a period when the Anti-deforestation Task Force was most active [92]. Therefore, exclusionary policies (like the moratorium) which undermine local property rights also tend to exacerbate deforestation and degradation Therefore, exclusionary policies (like the moratorium) which undermine local property rights also tend to exacerbate deforestation and degradation [93,94]. While some studies [95] claim that devolution of forest control may not necessarily lead to improved local and regional forest conditions, we argue that devolution also requires that we reframe such questions as: what constitutes forest improvement and who gets to define it? ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper analyses the design and implementation of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, conserving and enhancing forest carbon stocks, and sustainably managing forests (REDD+) in the West African region, an important global biodiversity area. Drawing on in-depth interviews, analysis of policy documents and observation of everyday activities, we sought to understand how REDD+ has been designed and implemented in Nigeria and Ghana. We draw on political ecology to examine how, and why REDD+ takes the form it does in these countries. We structure our discussion around three key dimensions that emerged as strong areas of common emphasis in our case studies-capacity building, carbon visibility, and property rights. First, we show that while REDD+ design generally foregrounds an ostensible inclusionary politics, its implementation is driven through various forms of exclusion. This contradictory inclusion-exclusion politics, which is partly emblematic of the neoliberal provenance of the REDD+ policy, is also a contingent reality and a strategy for navigating complexities and pursuing certain interests. Second, we show that though the emergent foci of REDD+ implementation in our case studies align with global REDD+ expectations, they still manifest as historically and geographically contingent processes that reflect negotiated and contested relations among actors that constitute the specific national circumstance of each country. We conclude by reflecting on the importance of our findings for understanding REDD+ projects in other tropical countries.
... That study did not cover major products such as timber, firewood, and fodder. Poudel, Thwaites, Race, and Dahal (2015) studied CFUGs' management and forest management. In CFUGs' management, they particularly studied record keeping, banking systems, reporting, and auditing; in forest management, they focused on protection rather than the requirements of households for forest products such as firewood, fodder, and timber. ...
Article
Participatory approach has been an official part of Community Forestry (CF) since 1989 when Master Plan for the Forestry Sector (1989) was introduced in Nepal. However, many problems related to benefit distribution from CF have emerged because of the way decision-making is influenced by social and institutional structures present at community level, particularly in terms of dominance by wealthy and caste elite to formulate rules. The study used a conceptual approach using elite theory with models that looked at Executive Committee (EC) that used to formulate distribution rules. The study uses Community Forestry User Groups (CFUGs) level data from 31 CFUGs and household data from 310 households in Baglung district, Nepal. The study examined the factors linked with rules of distribution that determined the relative distribution of forest products. The higher the representation of the poor and disadvantaged households on the EC, the greater the benefits to them in terms of greater quantities distributed and longer collection periods. The policy implication of this study is that the forestry organizations help the poor and underprivileged households to build up capacity to undertake leadership roles that influence the formulation of rules through which organizational elite models in favor to them become part of the elite decision-making.
... However, Dissanayake et al. (2015), who conducted a Choice Experiment survey on public preferences for REDD+ contract attributes in Nepal found that the opportunity cost of REDD+ associated with firewood use in community forests is about $26.6/tCO 2 e, with additional cost to households at $15/year for grazing closure in community forests. In a recent study in Ludikhola watershed, Poudel et al. (2015) found that not every member of the forest user group experiences the anticipated benefits of REDD+ and the households are not adequately compensated for the loss of access to forests by poor and marginalised households. These findings suggest that the true cost of REDD+ in community forests could be substantially higher than the prevailing carbon prices in the international markets. ...
Article
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) has been piloted in developing countries as a climate change mitigation strategy, providing financial incentives for carbon sequestration in forests. This paper examines the economic feasibility of REDD+ in community forests within two watersheds in central Nepal, Ludikhola and Kayarkhola, using data on forest product demand, carbon sequestration, carbon price and REDD+ related costs. The benefits of REDD+ are about $7994, $152, and $64 per community forest, per hectare of forest area, and per household in Ludikhola watershed compared to $4815, $29, and $56 in Kayarkhola watershed, respectively, under the business-as-usual scenario. Compared to the EU ETS carbon price ($10.3/tCO2e), the average break-even carbon price in community forests is much higher in Kayarkhola watershed ($41.8/tCO2e) and much lower in Ludikhola watershed ($2.4/tCO2e) when empirical estimates of annual expenditure in community forests are included in the analysis. The incorporation of annual expenditure estimates and opportunity cost of sequestered carbon (in the form of firewood prices in local markets) in the analysis suggests that community forests are economically infeasible for REDD+ at the prevailing carbon prices. The implication of our findings is that economic feasibility of REDD+ in community forests depends on the local contexts, carbon prices and the opportunity costs, which should be carefully considered in designing REDD+ projects.
Article
While we don’t tend to think about it, healthy ecosystems provide a variety of critical benefits. Ecosystem goods, the physical items an ecosystem provides, are obvious. Forests provide timber; coastal marshes provide shellfish. While less visible and generally taken for granted, the services underpinning these goods are equally important. Created by the interactions of living organisms with their environment, ecosystem services provide the conditions and processes that sustain human life.1 If you doubt this, consider how to grow an apple without pollination, pest control, or soil fertility. Once one realizes the importance of ecosystem services, three points quickly emerge: (1) landscapes provide a stream of services ranging from water quality and flood control to climate stability—the economic value of which can be significant; (2) the vast majority of these services are public goods and not exchanged in markets, so landowners have little incentive to provide these positive externalities; and (3) we, therefore, need to think creatively about creating markets for these services so they are not under-provided. This is the basis of the policy approach known as Payments for Ecosystem Services (“PES”).
Article
Full-text available
Using a multilevel governance lens, this paper analyzes ongoing reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) readiness initiatives in Nepal. We present the evidence of what is happening around these preparatory activities in relation to handling forest tenure issues, stakeholder engagement, developing monitoring and verification mechanisms, and creating benefit-sharing mechanisms. Our aim is to assess whether Nepal is on its way to being ready for full-fledged REDD+ implementation in the next few years. The paper concludes that, while the REDD+ readiness process mobilizes diverse and opposing stakeholders through interactive forums, it pays little attention to basic governance issues such as defining carbon rights and who is authorized to make what decisions about REDD+ rules and practices. Moreover, despite some well-intentioned participatory pilot experiences, fundamental aspects of participation, equity, and fairness remain unaddressed.
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents results from a comparative analysis of environmental income from approximately 8000 households in 24 developing countries collected by research partners in CIFOR’s Poverty Environment Network (PEN). Environmental income accounts for 28% of total household income, 77% of which comes from natural forests. Environmental income shares are higher for low-income households, but differences across income quintiles are less pronounced than previously thought. The poor rely more heavily on subsistence products such as wood fuels and wild foods, and on products harvested from natural areas other than forests. In absolute terms environmental income is approximately five times higher in the highest income quintile, compared to the two lowest quintiles.
Article
Full-text available
This paper is a meta-study of local forest management experiences in developing countries drawn from a review of 56 case-studies presented in 52 papers. Many case-studies report positive links between community forestry and forest conservation. In international organizations and NGOs there is a generally accepted agreement that collective management (community forestry) will yield success in forest conservation. However, the claim is seldom rigorously examined. We suggest to have a review of the literature and to propose a first step to a test of the claim in order to reach a first generalization as to the success of community forestry in forest conservation. The review of the literature is the first step towards such an examination, enabling us to make some initial generalizations for further research. In the present paper, a statistical test is performed and the claim is found wanting. The reviewed papers are very heterogeneous in their approaches, and it is also suggested that the state still has a role to play, even when the transfer of management rights to the forest resources is genuine. Community forestry does not work in a vacuum, and we suggest that a minimum requirement is probably the presence of a legal structure, which exists in India and Nepal but not in many other countries. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment
Article
Full-text available
We provide a synthesis of recent scholarship on social safeguards and co-benefits in REDD+ with a focus on debates on: first, tenure security, and second, effective participation of local communities. Scholars have explored both proximate and long-term co-benefits of REDD+ interventions, with an emerging trend that links safeguards to improved social co-benefits. Proximate co-benefits include improved rural livelihoods and lower costs of implementation. Long-term co-benefits include greater adaptive capacity of local communities and increasing transparency and accountability in forest governance. Our review suggests that greater tenure security and effective participation of local communities in management will not only prevent adverse social outcomes, but will also enable better forest outcomes and improved capacity for forest governance.
Article
Full-text available
REDD projects have received considerable attention for their potential to mitigate the effects of climatic change. However, the existing literature has been slow to assess the impacts of proposed REDD projects on the livelihoods of forest communities in the developing world, or the implications of these local realities for the success of REDD+ initiatives in general. This study presents ethnographic research conducted with communities within the April-Salomei pilot REDD+ Project in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Several cases of institutional biases and uneven power relationships have been exploited by local elites to prevent landowners from making free and informed choices about their involvement in the project, although landowners and local communities are well positioned to capture forthcoming project benefits. By underestimating the scale and impact of traditional shifting cultivation practices, the credibility of the REDD+ project design and the value of any future carbon credits are critically undermined. Based on the actual practices found in PNG, the authors' radical proposal is to call for a halt on REDD development in PNG while institutional enabling conditions are improved, comprehensive landowner consultations conducted, and detailed mapping and genealogical surveys of landowners completed. Without these developments, future REDD+ projects in PNG are unlikely to benefit either the global climate or local development.
Article
Full-text available
Recent years have seen a growing interest in the role and potential of community based forest management (CBFM) 1 as a vehicle for poverty reduction. Some analysts suggest that CBFM initiatives have limited potential for poverty reduction because they are prone to elite capture; focus on low value, degraded forests; emphasise forests rather than integrated NR based livelihood development; and because of the high transaction costs facing the poorest of the poor in harnessing high-value goods such as timber. This paper proposes that CBFM has the potential to help the poor cope with or even begin to move out of poverty, but this potential is as yet only partially realised. We examine the issues involved in promoting CBFM as a vehicle for poverty reduction and review selected pro-poor approaches to CBFM in the Asian region. We conclude that there are three key areas in which more work is needed by CBFM professionals in order to harness the poverty reduction potential of community forestry: governance, appropriate enterprise development and integrated approaches.
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we draw on the contributions to this issue to address the question 'Will REDD+ work?'. We do so by differentiating between how, where and when REDD+ might work. The article shows how issues of scope, scale and pace of REDD+ are related, and how interdisciplinary research can help to distill the lessons learned from REDD+ efforts currently underway. Important research areas include the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, monitoring, reporting and verification, co-benefits, governance capacity, linkages with related policies, and the environmental and social impacts of REDD+. In concluding, we highlight the role of interdisciplinary research in supporting the different actors involved in REDD+ to cope with the inherent heterogeneity and complexity of REDD+.
Article
Full-text available
The last decade has seen a proliferation of initiatives and actors involved with promoting alternative solutions to the problems of climate change and poverty. One such initiative is the Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD (+)) mechanism. The REDD (+) mechanism contains similar components to integrated conservation and development projects (ICDPS) and payment for environmental services (PES), where rewards for environmental conservation are supposed to bring co-benefits such as poverty reduction. However, there is little evidence to support this assumption. Instead studies suggest that pro-poor objectives within environmental policy deliver weak outcomes because they fail to acknowledge wider socio-economic contexts that hinder poor people from engaging in opportunities and accessing benefits. This article seeks to link climate justice at the international level with the local context focusing on the REDD (+) mechanism, looking at rights-based approaches and the issue of procedural and distributional justice. Using Ribot and Peluso's Access-theory (2003), the article explores justice and power relations in REDD (+) planning from a community perspective. The case study, Angai Village Land Forest Reserve (AVLFR) in south-eastern Tanzania, is a participatory forest management (PFM) area, currently under review to become a REDD (+) project site. The history of development intervention in Angai tells a story of donor dependency with limited participation by villagers. Our findings suggest that supporting local organisation, through capacity building and community networks, is a vital component of a more equitable and fair REDD climate change agreement.
Article
Full-text available
This article deals with participatory forest management (PFM) in Tanzania, Mozambique, and Laos, focusing on the degree to which the legislation supports local communities' security of rights to the forest resources and access to resource benefits, as well as the degree to which the legislation is implemented. The findings are that local communities' security of rights and access to benefits differ markedly among the three countries, whereas there is a striking similarity in the absence of efforts to implement PFM, in particular in areas with valuable timber resources. The underlying reasons for the differences are poor institutional setups and conflicting economic interests at various levels. We argue that the approach to support PFM should acknowledge differences between countries and areas, and that, under all conditions, assistance to communities in building advocacy organizations that can assert their legal rights and demand commitment of national governments is a fundamental prerequisite for success.
Article
Full-text available
The anticipated benefits and co-benefits of REDD+ generated considerable enthusiasm and momentum prior to the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, and the lack of agreement of a global mechanism for REDD+ at that Conference generated corresponding disappointment. However, experience from earlier forest-related initiatives, and from recent research in environmental and forest governance, suggest ways forward for REDD+ even in the absence of a post-2012 climate agreement. Comparative studies reveal that forest-rich developing countries already have formal forest management requirements that are at least as demanding as those of industrialised countries, and that poor implementation of these requirements is the key constraint to achieving forest conservation and sustainable forest management goals. Experience suggests that mechanisms that focus on enabling the implementation of these already-agreed requirements, and that draw from the lessons of forest certification as well as from PES schemes, are most likely to deliver positive outcomes for both forests and local stakeholders. Together, these lessons suggests that progress can be made towards the REDD+ outcomes envisaged by the Copenhagen Accord by supporting implementation of existing national and sub-national forest policies in ways that are consistent with the principles of good forest governance.
Article
Full-text available
This paper attempts to assess the livelihood impacts of community forestry based on Forest User Groups (FUGs) in the Middle hills of Nepal, using data from the Koshi hills region in the East. The general finding is that impacts are diverse both within and between FUGs, but have been generally positive, in terms of improved levels and security of forest product and benefit flows, various household income-generating opportunities, support for community infrastructure and development activities, and improved 'social capital' for collective planning and action. Nevertheless, impacts to date are below their potential, and the needs of rural households require more investigation to determine what further opportunities exist and how policy and extension agencies may offer specific needs-oriented support.
Article
Full-text available
Community forestry refers to forest management that has ecological sustainability and local community benefits as central goals, with some degree of responsibility and authority for forest management formally vested in the community. This review provides an overview of where the field of community forestry is today. We describe four case examples from the Americas: Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Bolivia. We also identify five hypotheses embedded in the concept of community forestry and examine the evidence supporting them. We conclude that community forestry holds promise as a viable approach to forest conservation and community development. Major gaps remain, however, between community forestry in theory and in practice. For example, devolution of forest management authority from states to communities has been partial and disappointing, and local control over forest management appears to have more ecological than socioeconomic benefits. We suggest ways that anthropologists can contribute to the field.
Article
Full-text available
This study analyzes forest change in an area of Nepal that signifies a delicate balance between sustaining the needs and livelihood of a sizable human population dependent on forest products, and an effort to protect important wildlife and other natural resources. The study area, a portion of the Chitwan valley district of Nepal, represents what may be becoming a common institutional mosaic in many countries of the world who have a population reliant on forest products for their livelihood: (1) a national park; (2) a designated park buffer involving participatory forest management programs; (3) scattered patches of designated community forest; and (4) large areas of adjacent landscape made up of mostly private landholdings under agricultural practices. Utilizing Landsat images from 1989 and 2000, we analyze land cover change in each of these management zones using landscape ecology metrics and quantifying proportional distributions of land cover categories. Our results show significant differences in terms of land cover dynamics and landscape spatial pattern between these land ownership classes. These findings indicate that community-based institutions (participatory management programs in the park buffer and the designated community forests) are capable of halting or even reversing trends in deforestation and forest fragmentation.
Article
Full-text available
This paper analyzes the effect of different types of cookstoves on firewood demand at the household level. Using nationally representative household survey data from Nepal, we find that stove type significantly affects the firewood demand for household uses. Traditional mud-stove user households seem to use less firewood than the open-fire stove users. Surprisingly, households with the so-called ‘improved’ stoves seem to use more firewood than the households with mud stoves. Thus, converting traditional open-fire stoves to mud stoves may be a better conservation strategy in the short term rather than installing improved stoves, unless the technology improves. However, in the long run, making cleaner fuel more accessible to rural households is desirable to reduce indoor air pollution.
Article
Full-text available
In resource dependent rural areas of developing countries, common property resource management has been considered as one of the most viable options for combining poverty reduction, enhancement of local level economic development and biodiversity conservation. The past decade has witnessed an increasing emphasis on community-based forest management, with transference of forest management responsibility into the hands of local communities. However, although community forestry (CF) has succeeded in halting resource degradation and conservation of biodiversity, the equity aspect of CF not been fully examined. Nepal is a good location for a case study to examine this question, as community forest programs have been in place longer than in many other countries. This study analyzes the relationship between key household characteristics and common property resources used in order to assess whether poorer households are able to gain greater access to community forests as a result of institutional change. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses suggest that forest product collection from community forests is dependent on various socio-economic variables. In general it appears that land and livestock holdings, caste, education of family members and household economic status exert a strong influence on appropriating benefits from the commons. Based on this analysis, it can be concluded that, at least for some key products, poorer households are currently facing more restricted access to community forests than ‘less poor’ or relatively better off households.
Article
Full-text available
Community forestry in Nepal vests rights of access, use, exclusion, and management of national forestland to local user groups. There is strong potential for community forests to serve as the basis for improving the quality of life and the status of livelihoods in rural Nepal while conserving forest resources. Frequently, community forest user groups are dominated by local elites who choose to close access to community forestland for several years. As a result, forest conditions are improving, but the poorest households bear the cost of strict protection. In this paper I argue that community forestry is thus having rather limited success at improving rural livelihoods. Although community forestry is fairly successful at conservation, there remain huge wealth disparities between community forest member households, limited access to vital forest products, and significant power disparities within community forest user groups. Such conditions of inequity, reinforced by current community forestry policy and practice, severely challenge the development potential of community-controlled natural resources. In Nepal, overcoming these challenges may require a change in policy that mandates more inclusive local decision-making.
Technical Report
One of the key questions that has arisen in the context of the REDD+ debate surrounds which actors have the right to exploit the benefits of GHG emissions reductions and removals in REDD+, and the associated rights to international payments. Because carbon is stored in trees and land, in many cases the answer will entail an understanding of rights over the resources and services they provide. These concepts are often included in the widely used but normally poorly defined term ‘carbon rights.’
Chapter
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, or REDD, is a mechanism for providing financial rewards to countries that reduce carbon emissions caused by the loss and degradation of their forests. In concept, REDD resembles other Payment for Environmental Services (PES) programs. However, REDD emphasizes a reduction in deforestation and degradation rates from expected levels, also known as avoided deforestation and degradation.
Article
Governance issues are at the heart of successful biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. This article examines two Integrated Conservation and Development Projects (ICDPs) conducted in parks on Sumatra, to better understand the foundations of effective biodiversity conservation programmes. The ICDP centred on a networked and multiscalar approach to governance issues seems to have had a longer-term positive impact on truly protecting biodiversity than the one that focused elsewhere. The findings from this research support the notion that an overarching spotlight on institutions and multilevel governance matters (ranging from spatial planning and policy making to arresting poachers to battling corruption) can help in addressing many conservation and development dilemmas. Grounded in field research, this paper calls for a model of biodiversity conservation based on multilayered, networked governance structures, proper law enforcement, and an emphasis on the development of institutional capacity, especially at the local level. These networks should be nurtured by long-term partnerships between governments, communities, and NGOs. Donors and planners should focus on these key areas in conservation design.
Article
REDD (reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation) aims to slow carbon releases caused by forest disturbance by making payments conditional on forest quality over time. Like earlier policies to slow deforestation, REDD must change the behaviour of forest degrading actors. Broadly, it can be implemented with payments to forest users in exchange for improved forest management, thus creating incentives; through payments for enforcement, thus creating disincentives; or through addressing external drivers such as urban charcoal demand. In Tanzania, community-based forest management (CBFM), a form of participatory forest management, was chosen by the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group, a local NGO, as a model for implementing REDD pilot programmes. Payments are made to villages that have the rights to forest carbon. In exchange, the villages must demonstrably reduce deforestation at the village level. In this paper, using this pilot programme as a case study, combined with a review of the literature, we provide insights for REDD implementation in sub-Saharan Africa. We pay particular attention to leakage, monitoring and enforcement. We suggest that implementing REDD through CBFM-type structures can create appropriate incentives and behaviour change when the recipients of the REDD funds are also the key drivers of forest change. When external forces drive forest change, however, REDD through CBFM-type structures becomes an enforcement programme with local communities rather than government agencies being responsible for the enforcement. That structure imposes costs on local communities, whose local authority limits the ability to address leakage outside the particular REDD village.
Article
SUMMARY The REDD+ policy proposes to deliver multiple outcomes including emissions reduction, livelihood support and sustainable forest management, and thus appears largely compatible with Community Forestry (CF). However, the addition of a new value (carbon sequestration) to traditional values of CF (local livelihoods and ecological resilience) may have implications for communities and CF management approaches at local level. Based on primary data collected from three Community Forest User Groups (CFUGs) in Nepal, this paper explores local effects of REDD+ in pilot sites, where the program has been implemented since 2009. Data from in-depth interviews, focus groups and household survey indicates that REDD+ has generated both positive and negative outcomes. CF condition, CFUGs activities and network, and sources of CFUGs income appeared to be improved, whereas autonomy of CFUGs as independent decision making institutions and customary access rights to forests are both limited, and external political agendas are seen to be replacing the needs and interests of forest users.
Article
Fundamental trade-offs exist between different land uses for carbon, livelihoods, economic development, biodiversity, agriculture and energy (especially biofuels). This article analyses the scientific debates on REDD+ trade-offs, co-benefits and safeguards, and shows how the development and expanded scope of REDD+ mechanisms have shaped these debates over time. We find substantial evidence that the non-carbon values of biodiversity conservation, equity and sustainable livelihoods are critical to both the legitimacy and effectiveness of REDD+, and argue that they therefore are better viewed as prerequisites than as values to be safeguarded. Scientists can contribute to the development of a more integrative REDD+ through interdisciplinary research and through a 'learning architecture' that supports the REDD+ policy development process with research dedicated to finding durable solutions.
Book
Abstract The first half of the Review focuses on the impacts and risks arising from uncontrolled climate change, and on the costs and opportunities associated with action to tackle it. A sound understanding of the economics of risk is critical here. The Review ...
Article
Sustainable forest governance is critical to a debate over how multi-faceted impacts of climate change can be addressed at the local community level. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is a financial incentive-based carbon emission reduction program of the United Nations (UN) which will likely change the ways community forests in many developing countries are accessed and used. In particular, the REDD program may reduce the access and use of forest products to poor communities who are heavily dependent on forests for their livelihoods. This paper aims to investigate whether and how the REDD program affects community forestry program in Nepal, particularly in relation to the livelihoods of forest dependent poor communities. It examines conceptual and policy aspects of REDD program in respect to Nepalese community forestry policy through the literature review, and also draws upon the current research in three community forestry cases. It then focuses on the analysis of impacts of the REDD program, viz.– a) access and use of community forests for poor communities, b) benefit and costs of REDD program to poor communities, and c) benefits (or costs) sharing mechanism (i.e. who gets what, when and how?). The paper identifies issues of REDD program in relation to community forestry and local livelihoods, particularly the livelihoods of the poorer groups. The paper provides a critique of the market driven, financial incentive-based REDD program to be not sympathetic to the decentralized forest governance. Despite community forestry has proven to be more equitable than the top-down centralized approach to forest governance, we argue that REDD seems to encourage the top-down approach, and therefore it seems to be anti-community forestry. Further, it does not really safeguard the interest and need of poor and disadvantaged communities who are directly dependent on forests. The paper concludes by underpinning the need to rethink forest governance in a changing climate with due consideration of persisting poverty in many developing countries.
Article
REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and the enhancement of carbon stocks) emerges as promising incentive mechanism for tropical forest protection. While REDD+ is expected to yield poverty reduction and biodiversity co-benefits, its mechanism design options pose several risks to socio-economic compatibility and environmental integrity.We conduct a REDD+ expert survey to rate the perceived importance and likelihood of these risks to national REDD+ implementation. The dependency of the risk perception on stakeholder characteristics is analyzed using seemingly unrelated regression analysis and ANOVA. Additionally, the survey investigates the perceived effectiveness of different policy options to minimize these risks.The majority of stakeholders viewed governance challenges as the largest risks to REDD+ implementation and preferred mandatory incentive and regulatory policy measures to mitigate them. Understanding these stakeholder perceptions will not only help improving national REDD+ implementation, but also provide insights for the international policy process.
Article
Many tropical developing countries are considering using a form of Payments for Environmental Services (PES) to reward communities involved in Community Forest Management (CFM) for reducing carbon emissions and increasing carbon sequestration. Such payments would fall under the scope of national Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) programmes which will claim carbon credits or funding under future provisions of the UNFCCC (2009a). However, the implications of different systems of payment to communities have scarcely been considered. We suggest that there are at least three different bases on which payment could be made: payments for management inputs, for carbon outputs or for opportunity costs incurred. Almost all current PES systems involving communities are input payment based, although there are also a few proto-opportunity cost models; however it is usually assumed that carbon projects under REDD+ will be output (performance) based. We compare these three payment models with reference to criteria derived from the Polis model of public policy inducement (Stone, 2002), which facilitates a real world analysis in which the objectives of actors at different levels (international purchasers of carbon credits, national policy makers, intermediate agencies and local communities) and their interactions are considered. We conclude that output based payments may not be optimal for inducement of CFM carbon emission reduction and sequestration in national REDD+ programmes. We propose a system based on paying communities to measure and monitor their forest carbon stock, which could be combined with either input conditionalities or a bonus for good performance.
Article
At Copenhagen, the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) was ready to endorse REDD-plus and to make explicit reference to the “rights of indigenous peoples and members of local communities” (UNFCCC, 2009). The reference is important because it acknowledges the historical background from which REDD-plus is developing: the historical dispossession, political exclusion and cultural marginalization of indigenous peoples and members of local communities (hereafter referred to as “forest people”). Recent experience with the recognition of forest people's rights suggests three broad principles for operationalizing rights under REDD-plus: participation in political decision-making, equitable distribution of forest benefits, and recognition of forest people's particular identities. In addition, the emphasis on rights requires the development of decision-making processes at multiple scales and related across scales. Global-scale institutions will be important but not sufficient in themselves. Effective and equitable REDD-plus requires nested forest and climate governance.
Article
The climate change agenda is more important in global politics today than ever before. This research set out to examine whether community forest management (CFM) can play a signifi cant role in reducing global emissions, by taking Nepal’s community forestry sector as a case. The thesis selects three community managed forests in Nepal’s Himalaya region to investigate the extent to which management of such forests by the local communities can successfully contribute towards reducing global atmospheric CO2 concentration (Chapter 1). The results of this analysis are used to make policy recommendations as regards the formulation of the new climate treaty that is expected to replace the Kyoto Protocol (KP) after 2012. The thesis shows that climate change can be viewed essentially as a market failure and explains that, as a result, global efforts to mitigate this change are also based on market mechanisms. It is certainly expected that the new treaty to replace the KP will be also market oriented. Climate is a global public good or common resource that requires international management, so the nations have jointly developed the KP to combat the dangers of climate change by regulating emissions. This has largely been done through a cap-and-trade mechanism. This limits the emission levels a country or an industry can emit and then allows individual countries or fi rms to buy and sell credits.
Article
This article argues that divergent images of community result not from inadequate knowledge or confusion of purpose, but from the location of discourse and action in the context of specific struggles and dilemmas. It supports the view that ‘struggles over resources’ are also ‘struggles over meaning’. It demonstrates the ways in which contests over the distribution of property are articulated in terms of competing representations of community at a range of levels and sites. It suggests that, through the exercise of ‘practical political economy’, particular representations of community can be used strategically to strengthen the property claims of potentially disadvantaged groups. In the policy arena, advocates for ‘community based resource management’ have represented communities as sites of consensus and sustain-ability. Though idealized, such representations have provided a vocabulary with which to defend the rights of communities vis-à-vis states. Poor farmers, development planners, consultants and academics can also use representations of community strategically to achieve positive effects, or at least to mitigate negative ones. Most, but not all, of the illustrations in this article are drawn from Indonesia, with special reference to Central Sulawesi.
Article
Community forestry in Nepal has a well-documented history of over 25 years. It is now widely perceived as having real capacity for making an effective contribution towards addressing the environmental, socioeconomic and political problems raised by Nepal's rapid progression from a feudal and isolated state into the modern, globalised world. This paper analyses the evolution of community forestry in Nepal, focusing on how policy, institutions and practical innovations evolved together to create a robust system of community forestry. It highlights the key outcomes of community forestry in the aspects of livelihoods and democracy and identifies two key lessons in relation to forest resource management, social inclusion and contribution to democratization in Nepal. First, mechanisms for policy amendment and revision for community-based forest management need to be based on real-life experiences rather than ad hoc and top-down decision-making. Second, if given complete autonomy and devolution of power, community forest user groups can become viable local institutions for sustaining forests and local democracy, and delivering rural development services by establishing partnership with many NGOs and private sector service providers.
Article
Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, conserving and enhancing forest carbon stocks, and sustainably managing forests (REDD+) are emerging as a central policy instrument to halt land-use related emissions from developing countries. In this article we introduce a special issue dedicated to understanding the governance and implementation dimensions of REDD+ at international, national and local levels. We use the earth system governance framework developed by Biermann et al. (2009) to illustrate the key governance issues underlying REDD+ and we highlight three main pillars for a future research agenda, namely (1) the politics of REDD+ in international and national negotiations; (2) the interplay between REDD+ policies and measures and other developments in land-use related processes; and (3) the examination of the environmental and socio-economic outcomes of REDD+ activities, integrating locally informed monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) techniques and using robust counterfactual assessment methods.
Article
Based on observations from all three tropical continents, there is good reason to believe that poor service providers can broadly gain access to payment for environmental services (PES) schemes, and generally become better off from that participation, in both income and non-income terms. However, poverty effects need to be analysed in a conceptual framework looking not only at poor service providers, but also at poor service users and non-participants. Effects on service users are positive if environmental goals are achieved, while those on non-participants can be positive or negative. The various participation filters of a PES scheme contain both pro-poor and anti-poor selection biases. Quantitative welfare effects are bound to remain small-scale, compared to national poverty-alleviation goals. Some pro-poor interventions are possible, but increasing regulations excessively could curb PES efficiency and implementation scale, which could eventually harm the poor. Prime focus of PES should thus remain on the environment, not on poverty.
Article
Integrated conservation and development projects (ICDPs) have been a pervasive, although widely criticized, approach to tropical conservation for more than 20 years. More recently, international conservation discourse has shifted away from project-based approaches and towards reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). While REDD is based upon experience with payment for environmental services (PES) initiatives and forest-related discussions in the United Nations (UN), REDD implementation will still require sub-national projects. Issues of equity will likely pit these sub-national projects against some of the same challenges that have dogged ICDPs. This suggests that REDD project developers stand to learn a great deal from the lessons generated by experience with ICDPs. This paper provides a list of best practices for ICDPs and applies their lessons as principles to guide the development and implementation of sub-national REDD projects. The intent of this approach is to encourage the design and implementation of sub-national REDD projects in a way that avoids the past pitfalls and mistakes, while building upon some successes, of the ICDP conservation approach. By doing so, REDD will be more likely to be implemented in a way that is effective, efficient and equitable.