REDD Should Create Jobs, Not Merely Bring Compensation
The REDD payments must not only be adequate but also reflect the realities of cost to different stakeholders and reach them without vanishing in corrupt practices. One way of approaching it is to make REDD Plus a positive action instead of a passive compensation for harm not done and making most of the payments to those who actually participate in such positive actions. These activities may include identification and survey of forest boundaries, maintenance of related land records, inventorying timber and non-timber forest produce, preparation of management plans, carrying out sustainable harvesting, first level value addition to the harvested product, setting up and managing decentralized biomass energy units sustainably for meeting local energy needs, replanting at least some of the previous years cleared lands, protection against fires and pests and promotion of ecotourism through laying trails and managing them, and capacity building of suitable members of the local communities for all the related activities.
In the forestry sector an annual expenditure of $ 1 million creates between 500 to 1000 full time jobs in the developing countries and between 20 to 100 jobs in the developed countries. In these times of high unemployment in the Annex I countries, it would be a politically wise step to ensure that REDD creates a good number of jobs in developed economies, too, for the purpose of capacity building, planning, monitoring, reporting and verification. At annual investments of $ 20 billion, and with a quarter of money being spent within developed economies, REDD would have the potential of creating about 1,00,000 direct full time jobs in the developed countries besides 7.5 million full time forestry jobs in the developing economies.