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REDD+ and tenure rights

KEY MESSAGES
REDD+ is to be introduced into areas with complex, conflictual tenancy claims concerning potential agricultural land and forests, but it is also an arena for introducing new interests, stakeholders and power relations. REDD+ might foster local processes that can help clarify and strengthen property and tenure rights, but it may also exacerbate local land conflicts.

CONCLUSIONS
There is still uncertainty in many countries on how carbon rights
will be managed and regulated. Land or forest tenure might not
be directly linked to carbon rights.
Disentangling the different rules concerning access and resource
rights is paramount when considering incentives and the
potential distribution of costs and benefits in REDD+ projects.
Resource tenure is a highly political field and REDD+ itself will
contribute to a changing and highly conflictual context,
affecting claims over benefit streams.
In many cases there are conflicts between de facto and de jure
tenure rights. The capacity to legitimize and enforce tenure
claims is essential for marginalized groups.
Formalizing resource rights and access may also lead to
increased contestation and conflicts. Ensuring a fair and just
process which avoids elite capture but ensures local legitimacy
will take time, resources and – in the face of powerful vested
interests – political will.
Securing forest land tenure vs. agricultural land tenure is a critical
matter, since insecure agricultural land tenure impacts local
livelihoods and adds pressure on the remaining forest.

Insights from the field, December 2012. Norwegian REDD Research Network