Forests, Tenure, and Climate: Some key recent findings with respect to REDD+ and beyond REDD+

In spite of widely-recognized challenges, REDD+ continues to be one of the primary approaches for forest-based climate change mitigation. We have recently published a book chapter titled “Land and carbon tenure: Some—but insufficient—progress”. It examines the extent to which REDD+ has addressed the critical issue of land tenure, and also summarizes some key research findings on forests, tenure, and climate—not only those related to REDD+ but also those going beyond it.

DR Congo’s Mai-Ndombe Forest ‘Savaged’ As Landless Communities Struggle

The forests of Mai-Ndombe (“black water” in Lingala) are rich in rare and precious woods (red wood, black wood, blue wood, tola, kambala, lifake, among others). It is also home to about 7,500 bonobos, an endangered primate and the closest cousin to humans of all species, sharing 98 percent of our genes, according to the WWF.

The forests constitute a vital platform providing livelihoods for some 73,000 indigenous individuals, mostly Batwa (Pygmies), who live here alongside the province’s 1.8 million population, many of whom with no secure land rights.

UN schemes to save forests ‘can trample on tribal rights’

The only UN-approved financial mechanism to curb deforestation, a key driver of global warming, has bulldozed the rights of forest-dwelling peoples on three continents and needs to be fixed, experts say.

U.N. climate projects in Congo leave locals worse off – report

A large-scale United Nations programme to halt deforestation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, home to the world’s second-largest rainforest, is harming local communities and failing to protect forests, land rights researchers said on Wednesday. The U.S.-based group Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) called on the World Bank to withhold funding from 20 current or pending projects in the province of Mai-Ndombe, which has been a test case for a U.N.-backed conservation scheme known as REDD+.

UN forest project ‘does more harm than good’

The harm a UN forest project in Africa is doing to local people is greater than the good it is managing to achieve for them, researchers say. They say they have found significant flaws in conservation projects in a densely-forested region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where a decision on future investment by the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility(FCPF) is imminent.

In a new study released today, researchers say they have identified significant flaws in ambitious forest preservation projects underway in a densely-forested region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where a decision on future investment by the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) is imminent. The DRC province of Mai-Ndombe has been a testing ground for international climate schemes designed to halt forest destruction while benefiting indigenous and other local peoples who depend on forests for their food and incomes, with US$90 million already dispersed or committed for climate finance in the province.

A new analysis of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Mai-Ndombe province finds REDD+ investments in the region are moving forward without clear recognition of the land rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. The findings come at a crucial time, as a decision on future investment by the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility is imminent.

There is a real need for community forestry to contribute to reducing emissions while securing immediate community benefits such as livelihoods diversification, climate change adaptation, and employment. These benefits can only become a reality if community tenure, and not simply access and benefits, is secured.