Effective local participation in project design and implementation is vital to ensure multiple benefits from the project and ensure equitability and sustainability. Projects that operate in a transparent manner build confidence with stakeholders and enable them to contribute more effectively to the project objectives. Community engagement is a priority for the Niassa REDD+ Project throughout the project lifetime.
During the project, communities will be engaged in three main ways:
- Development of socio-cultural baseline, through a participatory process.
- Community consultation and ‘Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) sought where community rights are affected.
- Active involvement in project activities, with adequate incentives provided to ensure communities benefit from the project success.
REDD+ design should ensure a strong focus is placed on developing sustainable sources of income and employment to maximise benefits to communities (e.g. local community employment as forest rangers). Also, it is particularly important to support sustainable agricultural development to reduce pressure on forest, and assist in poverty reduction.
Working with communities on REDD+ requires a great deal of education and dialogue, and will form a major component of developing effective REDD+ planning. The role of people living in and depending on the forest resources is central to success in reduction of carbon emissions and securing ongoing revenues from carbon credit sales to buyers in annex 1 (developed countries)