REDD+ and Rural Livelihoods
Focusing on incentive schemes that induce participation in land-use activities to supply environmental services, this paper examines the potential impacts of REDD+ on livelihoods, in particular with respect to incomes and poverty alleviation. Two case studies, each at a different scale, are presented. First, the N’hambita Community Carbon Project in Mozambique, a REDD+ project, promoted agro-forestry and reforestation activities along with alternative livelihoods. Second, the Sloping Lands Conversion Programme (SLCP) in China is a national-level reforestation scheme to supply watershed services. Impacts on the poor are addressed through the ‘lens’ of a rural household allocating its labour supply to different income sources. Four aspects of REDD+ policy are discussed: the incentives necessary for ensuring the cost-effective, long-run sustainability of both carbon sinks and incomes; the implications for forest conservation, in particular biodiversity; the need for scaling up carbon sequestration activities in order to minimise carbon leakage; and, the possibilities to maximise the participation of the poor and alleviate poverty. Finally, the paper highlights the importance of using appropriate methodologies for correct evaluation of policy impacts on incomes.
27 April 2012