Status of Forest Carbon Rights and Implications for Communities, the Carbon Trade, and REDD+ Investments
The brief, Status of Forest Carbon Rights and Implications for Communities, the Carbon Trade, and REDD+ Investments, reveals that there are very few legal protections and safeguards regarding forest communities' rights to trade carbon.
In a survey of 23 low and middle income countries, covering 66% of the developing world's forests, only Mexico and Guatemala have been found to have passed national legislation defining tenure rights over carbon, and none of the countries have a national legal framework that establishes how carbon from REDD+ should be traded.
As carbon becomes a marketable commodity, secure tenure rights to forest land and forest resources -- including carbon -- is critical. Without clarifying these rights, carbon trade will become yet another source of disenfranchisement for Indigenous Peoples and local communities, deepening the wedge between them and the forests in which they live and depend on.