The forest governance challenge in REDD+
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Recently, REDD+ has emerged as an international vehicle for contributing to halting deforestation and degradation as well as enhancing forest carbon stocks. Beyond its potential to deliver benefits related to the carbon cycle, REDD+ also seeks to contribute to the sustainable management of forests and poverty reduction. However, despite its global support there are a range of governance issues that may affect REDD+'s ability to deliver on its stated environmental and social goals. This paper examines some of these governance issues. Using the case of Zambia, the paper shows that the REDD+ process will need to deal with a number of long lingering governance challenges that have besieged the country's forest sector. In particular, the paper draws attention to the following core governance issues in Zambia: a highly centralised forest governance system, an inadequate foundation for effective participatory forest governance, an unclear resource tenure system and inconsistent policy and institutional frameworks at both local and national levels. It concludes that to achieve its intended goals, REDD+ will need to overcome these governance challenges in Zambia, or risk being undermined by them.
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