Income generating activities, alternative livelihoods and REDD+

Income generating activities, alternative livelihoods and REDD+

Introduction and background.
Many of the Tanzanian REDD+ pilot projects included components designed to increase non-carbon benefits (co-benefits) by supporting rural livelihoods in ways that minimise deforestation and forest degradation impacts. Income generating activities (IGAs) are often developed to substitute  activities based on unplanned and unsustainable forest harvesting. A recent evaluation of Tanzanian REDD+ pilot projects has concluded that designing and delivering viable and sustainable rural enterprises in remote and poor areas is extremely challenging and significant gaps exist in the approaches adopted by implementing agencies.
Some of the problems encountered, both in Tanzania and elsewhere, include: low levels of experience and understanding from implementing agencies on working with markets and supporting value chains; weak assumptions linking livelihoods and sustainable forest management; poor targeting of interventions to those who are most engaged in economic activities related to forest harvesting; and weak monitoring of impacts.

Key policy messages.
• If REDD+ is to succeed at the local level there is an urgent need to promote rural economic activities that are within reach of rural forest-dependent households in developing countries and that do not increase demands for unsustainable and unplanned harvesting of forest resources.
• Doing this effectively requires a good understanding of markets and value chains, partnerships with specialist service providers and private sector actors, better targeting of interventions, secure tenure rights over land and natural resources and effective monitoring of outcomes.

Tanzanian REDD+ Pilot Projects: Policy Brief 6.

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