An initiative to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) was launched in December 2007 at the Bali Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), yet little progress has been made in Asia in developing certified REDD projects, especially those that engage forest-dependent people. According to UNFCCC, REDD is a multilevel activity that involves both national policy and structures, as well as subnational projects involving local communities . While many Asian nations are trying to create frameworks that link the national strategy to sub-national projects, in India this formal integration has yet to take place. As a consequence projects like the Khasi Hills Community REDD+ project fall outside the UNFCCC strategy and operate under voluntary standards (Plan Vivo) and markets. The project involves both avoided deforestation and reforestation components. The project is being implemented by a federation of ten Khasi tribal kingdoms, a major ethnolinguistic group in the Indian state of Meghalaya. Project experience may provide guidance regarding actions required to create a more enabling environment for community forest carbon projects in Asia. These findings may better inform the December 2015 21st UNFCCC Conference of Parties in Paris as they again address REDD strategy. The experience of this Khasi Federation  in designing and implementing a REDD project has led to the emergence of a modernizing forest management system that is helping to conserve and restore the Khasi’s ancestral forests. Learning from this REDD project also illustrates the barriers that the Khasi communities have faced, including those imposed by national governments, certifiers, and carbon markets, that will likely constrain the expansion and replication of community-based climate initiatives. The author suggests some alternative policies and systems that may enable greater community participation in REDD projects.
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