Research Handbook on REDD-Plus and International Law
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Research Handbook on REDD-Plus and International Law

  • Research Handbooks in Climate Law series

Edited by Christina Voigt

The REDD+ initiative for Reducing Emissions of greenhouse gases from Deforestation and Forest Degradation is an important tool, established under the UNFCCC, for incentivizing developing countries to adopt and scale up climate mitigation actions in the forest sector and for capturing and channeling the financial resources to do so. With contributions from legal experts, international relations scholars, climate change negotiators and activists, this Handbook eloquently examines the emerging governance arrangements for REDD+, analysing how and to what extent it is embedded in the international legal framework.
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Chapter 5: The legal status and role of safeguards

Annalisa Savaresi

Extract

The implementation of REDD+ activities and policies may have significant social and environmental impacts. On the one hand, restrictions upon forest uses associated with avoided deforestation and degradation may affect indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities’ livelihood and means of subsistence. On the other, activities carried out to enhance forest carbon stocks, such as afforestation, may have negative impacts on biodiversity, by replacing biodiversity-rich non-forested landscapes with biodiversity-poor forest plantations. Furthermore, the implementation of REDD+ activities could be difficult in the context of faltering regulatory environments that tend to characterize forest governance in developing countries. Awareness of these potential trade-offs and risks prompted the IPCC to warn that forest-based mitigation activities need to avoid negative impacts associated with competition between land uses. Negotiations on REDD+ have witnessed a lively debate on how to avoid perverse outcomes and combine REDD+ activities and policies with the pursuit of co-benefits (or multiple benefits, as they have also been termed), such as biodiversity conservation, improved forest governance and a wide array of societal advantages.

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