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Can REDD+ save the forest? The role of payments and tenure

The success of REDD+ depends on whether it can be economically viable and if any resulting payments are sufficient to cover the opportunity cost plus any transaction cost. Where tenure security over forested areas is weak, REDD+ can pose a risk for forest communities, who could be dispossessed, excluded and marginalised. This review explores how payment for avoided deforestation and forest tenure impact the success of REDD+ projects in terms of effectiveness, efficiency and equity. Effectiveness refers to the difference between deforestation with and without REDD+, efficiency refers to avoiding deforestation at minimal cost, and equity refers to the implication of REDD+ on benefit sharing. The study concludes that the potential success or failure of REDD+ as a means to reduce deforestation and carbon emission on forest commons depends on designing projects that work within existing informal tenure institutions to ensure that carbon storage benefits align with livelihood benefits.