Forest Governance and REDD - Challenges for Policies and Markets in Latin America: Special Issue

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Forest governance reform, decentralization, mitigation strategies and the growing need for policies facilitating adaptation to climate change define the governance of Latin American forests. Development and market pressures and the ability of governments and societies to respond to these pressures adequately shape forests and the livelihoods of forest-dependent people. Communities are major stakeholders in the policies and practices that affect - by limiting or improving - their ability to use forests for their livelihoods. Specific policies such as tenure reforms, support for community forest management or policies affecting indigenous people influence the livelihoods of forest dependent people and enable or undermine efforts to reduce poverty. They also have implications for communities' relationship with REDD+ proponents and the way REDD+ is designed. These dynamic and interlinked policy processes lay the groundwork for forest management and the development and implementation of REDD+ schemes and generate incentives for land-use decisions that could reduce deforestation rates and benefit forest-based communities. Governments can use new opportunities to preserve forests and curb deforestation rates by promoting innovative social responses, new development actions and livelihood alternatives.

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