Community Forestry and REDD+ in Africa: Lessons Learning and Ways Forward: Issues Brief
USAID’s Forest Carbon, Markets and Communities program commissioned four reports – three regional and one global – on lessons learned from community forestry initiatives and their relevance for REDD+. This brief summarizes key points from the report on Latin America.
Community forestry is based on recognizing the rights of communities to establish and enforce rules governing the access and use of forests. Latin America arguably leads the world in successful community forestry initiatives. Large areas are under indigenous and community tenure and are marked by good governance. The region also boasted, in 2013, over half of the world’s forest under existing and projected REDD+ private market projects.
The brief explains community forestry itself and its general types - “discovered” or “designed.” The first arises organically and the second is designed by outsiders. Discovered community forestry has prospered in Latin America with support, while designed has tended to fail.
The brief outlines lessons learned in the following areas to support community forestry and for REDD+ to deliver environmental, social and economic benefits:
- Regional characteristics
- Empowerment of communities
- Governance and stakeholder engagement
- Benefits and incentives
- Capacity building
- Scaling up