REDD+ and rights: extending carbon rights in the DRC to climate-regulating services
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) the state has ultimate ownership rights to all resources, adjudicating land use rights and revoking them if public interest demands. Community rights, although weak, are acknowledged in a dual system of tenure and resource rights. This is the legal environment within which REDD+ projects are exploring climate change mitigation through more sustainable land use practices. But REDD+ requires long-term commitment from land users, and commitment needs secure rights. DRC has introduced carbon rights agreements and a fiscal system into contracts for private sector investment in REDD+ but clarity on how (or whether) carbon rights can be transferred, and careful assessments of existing local interests will be needed to scale up REDD+ projects to a successful national approach.