Designing a successful REDD+ strategy is complex, in part because it deals with the intricacies of changing economic incentives and human behaviors toward forests – and toward land in general. That’s where community forestry can play an important role.
Various tropical countries have demonstrated that the effective decentralization of forest management rights and responsibilities, when combined with long-term support of local communities, can lead to better management of forest resources. REDD+ can foster decentralization of forest management rights and responsibilities.
South-South exchanges provide opportunities for policy makers to experience how their counterparts in other countries have tackled similar challenges and discover new ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of emerging REDD+ strategies.
In the new publication REDD+ and Community Forestry: Lessons Learned from an Exchange of Brazilian Experiences with Africa, experts describe the lessons learned from an initiative by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility to share Brazilian experiences with African countries. The initiative was undertaken by World Bank staff with funding from the Global Environment Facility and coordinated by the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation, with technical support from the Office National des Forêts International.
The 10-day knowledge exchange in Brazil included policy makers and experts from five countries in the Congo Basin — Cameroon, Gabon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Republic of Congo — and Madagascar, in February 2011.
“This knowledge exchange initiative comes at a strategic moment for the participating countries, as they design national strategies to address the causes of deforestation and forest degradation,” said André Aquino, co-author and forest carbon expert at the World Bank. “African countries can benefit from the Brazilian experience of decentralizing forest management to communities and of using innovative systems of payments for ecosystem services. Brazil, in turn, can learn from the Congo Basin’s experiences with managing forest concessions.”