Deforestation is one of leading contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions, and finding sustainable solutions to this issue is vitally important.
However, recent attempts to address deforestation through carbon offsetting schemes such as REDD (reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) can create perverse incentives for governments to ignore or deny the land and resource rights of indigenous peoples and poor forest dwellers.
The world's rainforests play a vital role in supporting the lives and livelihoods of local communities. They are also essential in preventing catastrophic climate change. Globally, deforestation contributes to around 10% of man-made carbon emissions, and the highest rates of deforestation are found in the tropics.
The concept of REDD – the aim of which is to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation – was first discussed at the international level in 2005. It has become one of the most controversial issues in the debate around climate change mitigation.
Over the years RFUK has spoken out repatedly in favour of an evidence-based approach to reducing deforestation that ensures respect for the rights of forest communities. Focusing primarily on the Congo Basin, we continually engage with policy-makers by sharing our decades of experience in rainforest protection.
Some of our achievements include:
Forest tenure and resource mapping by local communities in Mai Ndombe is providing a highly detailed and comprehensive picture of customary claims and usages that are likely to extend across the entire province. The results, which authorised users can view on MappingForRights, have major implications for DRC’s flagship jurisdictional REDD+ programme, especially in terms of land rights, land management, and distribution of benefits from anticipated emissions reductions activities.