Subnational REDD+ initiatives will have impacts on the wellbeing of local stakeholders, whether by design or by accident. One of the main challenges for “REDD+ on the ground” is to maximize the positive effects on wellbeing and equity while minimizing the down sides. One key dimension of REDD+ is its effort to restrict access to and conversion of local forests. This inevitably has repercussions for local livelihoods, and all the more so in places where dependence on forest resources (whether as a source of land for conversion or for forest products and ecological services) is high. Implementers of subnational REDD+ initiatives seek to compensate for these restrictions on access to forest resources through the provision of livelihood enhancements (whether conditional on the achievement of forest protection or not), and through equitable distribution of the stream of benefits to be obtained through REDD+.
Module 2 is devoting a substantial portion of its efforts to measuring the impacts of REDD+ on human well-being. The fulfillment of social safeguards is examined in Jagger et al. (2012), Jagger et al. (2014), and in a series of briefs produced by GCS as a whole (www.cifor.org/safeguards). Caplow et al. (2011) look at pre-REDD+ forest carbon projects for lessons on the future impacts of REDD+. For analysis on how to assure equity in REDD+ benefit sharing, see Luttrell et al. (2012) and Luttrell et al. (2013). For a perspective on the hopes and concerns of local stakeholders in the sample of 23 sites, see Resosudarmo et al. (2012). The involvement of women in establishing REDD+ on the ground and its potential impacts on them is explored in Larson et al. (2015).
Module 2 also addresses issues of biodiversity conservation in REDD+. Murray & Jones (2014) make a distinction between ‘risk management’ and ‘opportunity realization’ approaches to biodiversity conservation in REDD+, the latter of which requires additional efforts to deliver biodiversity co-benefits, including spatial targeting of REDD+ interventions, supplementary financing, and biodiversity-specific management. Murray et al. (2015) highlight the challenges of simultaneously protecting carbon stocks and biodiversity, based on empirical evidence from REDD+ projects in Indonesia where potential biodiversity co-benefits are not yet being realized