The Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, has partnered with leading global law firm Baker & McKenzie to create the REDD+ Law Project, a research and advisory initiative supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
The REDD+ Law Project is an independent research and advisory initiative led by law firm Baker & McKenzie in partnership with the Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge. Drawing on Baker & McKenzie’s experience with REDD+ projects in the voluntary market, the REDD+ Law Project focuses on the legal frameworks required to attract investment (particularly from risk-averse private sector investors) and deliver climate, biodiversity and community benefits. With the generous support of our sponsors, the REDD+ Law Project is currently undertaking research in both Africa and Asia, with initial outputs expected from May 2013.
About the REDD+ Law Project
The international policy developments around REDD+ and the long-term anticipation of REDD+ as, at least in part, a market-based compliance mechanism has seen early engagement by the private sector to finance the development of REDD+ projects. In general, this has seen private sector developers as well as international conservation groups develop REDD+ projects primarily under the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS), financed through the sale of REDD+ credits. Such projects continue to be developed across multiple jurisdictions with varied levels of success, always with long implementation timeframes. Over the past few years, these early investments have produced valuable on-the-ground experience in terms of the recurring problems, challenges and lessons that such projects face - particularly regarding legal issues, which must be resolved in order for REDD+ to move forward.
Common to most projects are recurring systemic challenges within domestic legal systems related to governance structures, such as:
Understanding these issues and resolving them is critical to the long-term success of REDD+ and must be directly incorporated into the policy that ultimately governs REDD+. For this reason, the REDD+ Law Project is specifically focused on taking the early experience from real REDD+ project engagement and using this as critical input for the development of REDD+ law and policy frameworks that will be effective. This work will help countries to overcome the legal barriers to the successful implementation of REDD+ and to develop their own legal systems to accommodate REDD+, contributing to ‘REDD+ readiness’ by ensuring that that policy works in practice.
The Project is designed to build certainty and security around REDD+ policy implementation by addressing key unresolved legal issues which challenge the success of REDD+ projects.
The research and analysis of this project (including a survey of the current state of international and domestic policy frameworks that exist for REDD+, comparative studies, and tools such as model rules and contract terms) will be presented as a public resource. The REDD+ Law Project is an independent initiative which engages with the perspectives of all affected stakeholders, and as such our resources will be accessible by all REDD+ stakeholders, including governments, communities, the business sector, academics, civil society groups and individual citizens. Upon request, we also offer capacity-building training based on our research.
Wider application of this research
Martijn Wilder AM
Affiliate of the Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research
Partner, Baker & McKenzie
Tel: + 61 (0)2 8922 5276
Dr Sophie Chapman
Department of Land Economy
Tel: +44 (0)1223 764212