Mai-NDombe: will the REDD+ laboratory benefit indigenous peoples and local communities? Analysis of the cumulative impacts and risks of REDD+ initiatives

Mai-NDombe: will the REDD+ laboratory benefit indigenous peoples and local communities? Analysis of the cumulative impacts and risks of REDD+ initiatives

REDD+ in Mai-Ndombe.
The province of Mai-Ndombe in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has, in the last five years, become a REDD+ laboratory. In 2016, the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) approved the DRC's Emissions Reduction Program (ERP), focusing on this province. The Forest Investment Program (FIP) supports two integrated REDD+ programs, and numerous Central Africa Forest Initiative (CAFI) programs are also planned. REDD+ investments exceed US$90 million in a 12.3 million hectares area, including 9.8 million forested hectares. The DRC is home to the second largest tropical forest in the world, storing more than 8 percent of the world's tropical forest carbon. Beyond conserving the forest, REDD+ programs aim to preserve them by addressing all the drivers of deforestation, while also fighting poverty and improving people's living conditions.

Goals of this study.
This study aims to assess the cumulative risks and impacts of all REDD+ initiatives in Mai-Ndombe on the rights and subsistence of local communities and Indigenous Peoples, using existing tools while taking into account gray areas of the REDD+ process. Findings come from existing project documentation, field studies conducted in recent years, and a series of interviews with REDD+ stakeholders in Mai-Ndombe. The study provides a mapping of all existing and planned REDD+ initiatives in the province, as well as a cross-cutting contextual analysis of risks which connects REDD+ to human rights. This is followed by an assessment of these initiatives’ cumulative impacts as well as of national and project strategies to address and reduce risks. It thus offers a perspective on the link between the accumulation of REDD+ initiatives and conflicts at different scales.

The study was co-funded by Norad and also draws on data and information from Norwegian funded REDD+ projects.

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