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An effective mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD) could provide a powerful tool for mitigating global carbon dioxide levels as well as greatly enhancing developing country tropical forest conservation and sustainable development. Given that many tropical forest countries likely to host a majority of REDD projects also demonstrate the weakest forest governance records in recent decades, however, the design and implementation of legal and institutional frameworks relevant for REDD governance will require especially careful evaluation.
Responding to this challenge, the IUCN Environmental Law Centre has completed a comprehensive study on national legal frameworks for REDD in conjunction with partner international and national REDD legal experts. The report includes case studies from Brazil, Cameroon, Guyana and Papua New Guinea, which serve as a basis for further analysis and recommendations for the development of laws and regulations for REDD. The report identifies the following four main themes central to ensuring successful REDD legal regimes and elaborates relevant legal and policy considerations with regard to each:
- Ownership of Land, Forest and Carbon
- Participation, Balancing of Rights and Interests, and Prior Informed Consent
- Benefit Sharing
- Additionality and Permanence