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ASB REDD+ Briefs Highlight Competing Carbon Claims, MRV Capacity Needs and Governance and Safeguards

August 2011: Recent publications from ASB Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins (ASB) address key issues related to REDD+ implementation with respect to carbon rights, measurement, reporting and verification (MRV),  safeguards, and stakeholder engagement.

In the Policy Brief entitled "Hotspots of Confusion: Contested Polices and Competing Carbon Claims in the Peatlands of Central Kalimantan, Indonesia," ASB describes how different actors use their interpretation of history, rules and norms to support their claims to engage in REDD+ activities. The brief finds that there is no clear legal approach to clarifying carbon rights and responsibilities recognizing that lack of respect for the the law leads to increased confusion and undermines authority. The brief stresses that negotiated cooperation among stakeholders will be required rather than assertion of a single authority in contested landscapes.

"Strengthening Measurement, Reporting and Verification for REDD+" was developed as a discussion paper for May 2011 workshops in Cameroon and Vietnam for REDD+ negotiators organized alongside the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). It addresses: the implications of different definitions of REDD+ and the scope of REDD+; key challenges on reference emission levels; guidance on thresholds; inventories of capacity needed for MRV design and implementation; REDD+ MRV and MRV for nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAS); and lessons from on the ground experiences. The paper stresses the need for countries to define forests, reference emission levels and a nested approach. It calls for flexibility in the development of reference emission levels and baselines, as well as increased engagement for local community and indigenous peoples. The paper suggests building capacity by considering appointing MRV experts to UNFCCC technical and expert groups.

The discussion paper on "Safeguards and Multiple Benefits in a REDD+ System" considers REDD+ Safeguards and co-benefits in the Cancun Agreements, their role in REDD+ Readiness Preparation Proposals, systems for sharing information and lessons from in country experiences. It calls for experience with free, prior and informed consent (FPIC); community forest management; payment for ecosystem services; REDD+ Social and Environmental Standards; forest law enforcement, governance and trade (FLEGT) and forest certification to inform UNFCCC negotiations. It stresses that a safeguard information system can have international guidelines, but that implementation should be country based and not enforced externally. In terms of multiple benefits, the paper highlights that benefit sharing requires clarification of property rights over carbon, land tenure and other rights. It describe underlying principles of transparency, accountability and participation.

In the project report on "Local perspectives on REDD: in comparison with those at the international negotiation tables and their representation in quantitative scenario models," ASB describes the international REDD+ debate's focus on: the scope of REDD+ efforts; financial incentives; and safeguards for local populations and biodiversity. However, the report focuses more on how local stakeholders can engage in REDD+ to further their livelihood strategies and development aspirations. The authors produce a model of community-level motivation for resource protection. ASB is a member of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

[Publication: Hotspots of Confusion: Contested Polices and Competing Carbon Claims in the Peatlands of Central Kalimantan, Indonesia]  [Publication: Strengthening Measurement, Reporting and Verification for REDD+] [Publication: Safeguards and Multiple Benefits in a REDD+ Mechanism] [Publication: Local perspectives on REDD: in comparison with those at the international negotiation tables and their representation in quantitative scenario models]