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Forests 2012, 3(1), 137-154; doi:10.3390/f3010137
Article

Splitting the Difference: A Proposal for Benefit Sharing in Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+)

1,2,*  and 1,3
1 CSTM, Twente Centre for Studies in Technology and Sustainable Development, University of Twente, Postbus 217, Enschede, 7500 AE, The Netherlands 2 Ingeniería Ambiental, PTI Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (ITESO), Tlaquepaque, CP 45090, Mexico 3 Centro de Investigaciones en Geografía Ambiental, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Antigua Carretera a Pátzcuaro 8701, Morelia, CP 58190, Michoacán, Mexico
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 February 2012 / Revised: 15 March 2012 / Accepted: 19 March 2012 / Published: 21 March 2012
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Abstract

The objective of REDD+ is to create incentives for the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and for the increase of carbon stocks through the enhancement, conservation and sustainable management of forests in developing countries. As part of the international negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), compensation would be estimated in relation to national performance but how these incentives will be channeled within countries has not been specified and there are concerns about how the benefits will be shared among different stakeholders. One central issue is that under the national approach good performance in one region can be offset by underperformance in other regions of the country thus preventing the generation of predictable local incentives. Other issues relate to the need to provide incentives to a wide range of stakeholders and to avoid perverse reactions. To address these and other issues we propose separating the accounting of reduced deforestation, reduced degradation and enhancement of forests. The local attribution of credits would be easier for carbon enhancement, and possibly reduced degradation, than for reduced deforestation, since carbon gains can, in principle, be measured locally in the first two cases, while estimating achievements in reduced deforestation requires a regional approach. This separation in attribution of rewards can help to create adequate incentives for the different stakeholders and overcome some of the problems associated with the design and implementation of national REDD+ programs.
Keywords: avoided emissions; carbon enhancement; forest management; positive incentives avoided emissions; carbon enhancement; forest management; positive incentives
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Balderas Torres, A.; Skutsch, M. Splitting the Difference: A Proposal for Benefit Sharing in Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). Forests 2012, 3, 137-154.

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