What are the corruption risks in REDD+? Are there any examples from the Congo Basin countries, in particular Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic?
1. Overview 2. Corruption risks in the readiness phase 3. Corruption risks in the implementation phase 4. References
The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism aims at protecting forests and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. It financially rewards countries that cut carbon emissions from forests and contribute to conservation and sustainable management of forests. Many REDD+ programmes are being implemented in countries that are prone to corruption. This includes countries in the Congo Basin region, which contains some of the largest tropical rainforests in the world. Moreover, as such activities involve significant flows of money to prepare and implement, REDD+ can also create incentives for corrupt actors to take advantage of the REDD+ process and the financial rewards.
The corruption risks specific to the REDD+ process can be categorised between those that occur in the readiness phase and those that occur in the implementation phase. In the readiness phase, the areas of risks include: determining forest and carbon rights, setting carbon reference levels and deciding on how to share revenue. In the implementation phase, the risks include: land and forest rights implementation, measuring and verifying carbon credits and collecting and managing REDD+ revenues.
These risks are seen to be common to varying degrees throughout the range of countries where REDD+ is implemented, which includes those in the Congo Basin region.