Making benefit sharing arrangements work for forest dependent communities: Overview of Insights for REDD+ Initiatives
Benefit sharing is central to achieving the objectives of REDD+. For REDD+, benefit sharing covers how carbon revenues are to be assigned and shared among all stakeholders involved in meeting REDD+ goals. In practice, benefits need to be shared prior to receiving carbon revenues. Benefit sharing in the context of REDD+, therefore, needs to also include the provision of incentives and support to parties involved in REDD+ in order to generate carbon revenues. Financing from national funds or international financing sources will likely be the source of the benefits. Once carbon revenues are generated (independent of whether they are from a market-based or fund-based system), the benefit sharing regime will convert the carbon revenues into additional incentives and support.
Benefit sharing involves the intentional transfer of monetary and nonmonetary incentives and assistance to enable parties in the agreement to implement activities that would generate the carbon revenues. The benefits can range from policy measures (including clarity over rights) to financial payments and technical assistance (such as technology provision or skill training in improved land-use practices). Arrangements for sharing these benefits can involve mechanisms for revenue sharing or mechanisms for transferring monetary and nonmonetary assistance among the parties involved. Implementing benefit sharing requires identifying the beneficiaries and necessary benefits. Clear obligations or responsibilities that need to be met to attain the benefits are also important. There also is the need to develop systems for recording and monitoring the benefits and associated obligations as well as distributing the benefits to the beneficiaries.
This overview paper positions the question of benefit sharing in the context of REDD+. It shares findings from a cursory review of a sample of Readiness Preparation Proposals (RPP) for REDD+ submitted to the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF). It deconstructs the concept of benefit sharing. It also provides a summary of the main findings from three recent studies on benefit sharing that were financed by the Program on Forests (PROFOR).
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