REDD+ can only work if forest-dependent communities have real and reliable incentives to conserve or sustainably manage forests. There are various means by which REDD+ can create such incentives, from direct cash payments for reducing carbon emissions and enhancing forest carbon stocks, to more indirect support; for example, supporting the process of devolved forestland allocation or hiring communities to monitor the forests.
SNV supports a REDD+ architecture which brings benefits to local communities.
Given that agricultural expansion is a key driver of deforestation and forest degradation SNV is exploring and promoting agricultural practices that reduce pressure on the forests and/or which enrich degraded forest areas. SNV is introducing a suite of measures that includes better understanding of local resources/demands, effective capacity building and establishing long-term market linkages (e.g. Bamboo in Houphanh Province, Lao PDR).
In order to better understand the economic incentives facing local communities, SNV, in partnership with the International Institute of Environment and Development, has carried out Opportunity Cost Analysis in pilot countries. This work is providing the knowledge to better understand what payments are needed to bring benefits from REDD+ to local communities. The potential benefits under different forest management scenarios are being compared; this includes exploring the potential for communities from forest carbon stock enhancement.