Voices From the Congo Basin: Incorporating the Perspectives of Local Stakeholders for Improved REDD Design
The scarcity of information on local and indigenous perspectives on Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) may inhibit the development of effective REDD-related measures in the Congo Basin. The World Resources Institute (WRI), along with the Network for Environment and Sustainable Development (NESDA) in Cameroon, and the Council for Environmental Defense by Legality and Traceability (CODELT) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), engaged underrepresented local communities in the Congo Basin on issues regarding REDD. We conducted a series of workshops with local and indigenous communities, community-based nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and parliamentary representatives to raise their awareness of forest/climate issues and REDD. The workshop participants then had an opportunity to discuss their aspirations and concerns regarding REDD’s design and implementation. Their five main concerns were the following:
- Limited recognition of land-tenure rights.
- Inadequate information about forest and carbon resources.
- Weak institutional capacity and unclear roles.
- Inequitable revenue distribution.
- Fewer opportunities for development.
We discussed recommendations for addressing these concerns, and decided on priorities. This working paper summarizes the feedback and conclusions from these workshops for international civil society, UN-REDD, the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), and the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).