The UN Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) provides financial incentives to developing countries to conserve their forests and invest in low-carbon pathways to sustainable development. However, it may also be a potential new source of conflict, says Dennis Taenzler, a senior project manager at adelphi in Berlin, who works on climate and energy policies as well as peace and conflict issues.
There are several elements that projects need to take into consideration in order to prevent REDD from becoming a source of conflict, says Taenzler. For instance, REDD should not further marginalize forest-dwelling communities and should avoid fostering already widespread corruption in the forest sector. Furthermore, using input from communities, questions surrounding land tenure will need to be clarified. Finally, baseline-setting for REDD projects should take into consideration the dynamics between deforestation and existing conflict and peace dynamics.
“The role of communities is of utmost importance,” particularly in relation to land tenure, Taenzler said.