A pan-tropical assessment of REDD+ socioeconomic impacts on smallholders

Reducing carbon emissions through avoided deforestation and forest degradation and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+) seeks to compensate smallholder farmers for avoided emissions from forests, and thus provide a solution for climate change mitigation while sustaining rural livelihoods. A key element in the objectives and integrity of REDD+ is that compensation must be fair and equitable among stakeholders. After several years of experience with subnational REDD+, it remains unclear to what extent livelihoods are protected or even improved, in a manner that is equitable within villages and communities. For this paper, we draw on village and household-level surveys from 17 sites, 129 villages, and nearly 4,000 households to examine changes in income over time (before and after REDD+) for different wealth groups, and examine how REDD+ impacts, if any, are distributed.

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