CIFOR hosts benefit-sharing workshop with Peruvian Ministry of Environment

The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the Peruvian Ministry of the Ministry of Environment (MINAM) jointly hosted a workshop titled “Key elements in the design of a REDD+ benefit sharing mechanism in Peru” in Lima on 12 May.

The event aimed to share findings on benefit-sharing research conducted by CIFOR in Peru and other countries, raise awareness of the implications of and commitments for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), and promote multi-stakeholder participation. Those taking part included representatives from government, civil society , regional government and international cooperation representatives working on REDD + initiatives.

Research results on the state of benefit sharing were presented, generated as part of CIFOR’s Global Comparative Study on REDD+. Participants discussed the importance of results and the effectiveness of current strategies; in working groups, they developed strategies for addressing deforestation in Peru based on different scenarios of finance levels and deforestation drivers.

Rather than framing benefit sharing narrowly as a policy mechanism for distributing monetary incentives, CIFOR decided to take a broader approach for several reasons, according to principal scientist Anne Larson.

First, she explained, focusing on the “benefits” sets aside discussion of the actions that are needed—or the responsibilities that will be incurred—in order to reach the policy goal of reducing deforestation and forest degradation.

Second, given that it isn’t clear whether large sums of cash will materialize from the international community, it is important to think about all types of funds that can be leveraged and how they can be leveraged.

“There are many strategies that could be used to reach REDD+ objectives,” said Larson.

Some of the examples discussed include strengthening community tenure rights, monitoring and law enforcement or payment for environmental services targeted to forest owners, concessionaires, indigenous communities or smallholders.

“The idea of benefit distribution suggests that there will be a large pie to be divided up among multiple actors, but that very well might not be the case,” said Larson, who believes Brazil offers good lessons for the region.

“If the goal is to reduce deforestation and forest degradation, Brazil provides an excellent example of how you can use funds for a multifaceted approach that includes monitoring and control, institutional changes (such as land titling) and incentives. So, it’s not just about benefits and incentives—but all the strategies that can be used to generate a behavioral change.
“The mix of strategies that Peru eventually selects will determine what is really meant by benefits.”