Sharing the benefits of REDD

10 June 2010 | News story

Full participation of forest communities is indispensable for REDD-plus (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, plus conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks) to be a success, the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) says in a new study.

As developing countries gear up preparations for activities under REDD-plus, payments for restoring and preventing loss of tropical forest will need to be efficiently and equitably distributed to those making the efforts on the ground.

REDD-plus is vital to reduce the negative impacts of climate change by preserving, enhancing and restoring the capacity of forests to store carbon and reduce CO2 emissions. Great hopes and expectations have arisen from the promise of governmental and multilateral funding that will provide incentives and compensation for REDD-plus actions. Solid frameworks for distributing benefits will need to be in place to avoid disappointment.

The study “REDD plus and benefit sharing” builds on IUCN’s study on forest and other natural resources management to provide guidance on how to share the benefits of REDD.

“The challenge for countries is twofold: making REDD-plus payments effective enough to achieve their objective – reducing forest related carbon emissions and removing carbon - while building support and legitimacy among the different stakeholders and right-holders,” says IUCN’s Consuelo Espinosa.

To make REDD-plus work, beneficiaries need to be carefully identified, involved in defining how benefits will be channelled to them and should fully agree to the system of payment, IUCN says.

The amount of incentives, the timing and the form in which payment takes place need to be decided and linked directly to the REDD-plus activities agreed with them. All of the information on the schemes needs to be in the public domain and available for scrutiny by civil society, governments and the private sector.

Large-scale REDD-plus action, coupled with increasing demands for other land uses and commodities such as bio fuels, is likely to contribute to rises in the value of timber and agricultural products. These in return will lead to increasing pressures on forest resources and land. It is expected that, as a result, REDD action will become more expensive over time and require higher compensations.


The study REDD-plus and benefit sharing was produced and drafted with the support of Econ Pöyry consulting firm.  

Download the summary brochure of the study at:  

The complete version of the study will be available in the coming month at  


View of logging road in the Cameroon Forests