Reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation gender analysis of REDD+ and its potential impact on community resources system : case of Angai Villages Land Forest Reserve, Tanzania
DisciplineKansainvälinen kehitystyö (maisteriohjelma)Master's Degree Programme in Development and International Cooperation
Climate change is the greatest development challenge of the generation. The anthropogenic origins of the phenomenon are mainly in industrialized countries, while people living in poverty in developing countries are the most affected by the negative impacts and have the least capacity to adapt to the changing conditions. The majority of these people are women. Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation plus (REDD+) is a climate change policy that enables forest communities in developing countries to be compensated for the carbon that is sequestrated in their forest. REDD+ has been considered to have a high potential to enhance forest biodiversity as well as to bring positive social and economic opportunities to communities and forest management structures. Several threats have also been identified and many gender advocates have criticized REDD+, noting that it can further exacerbate gender inequality. This research project studied REDD+ from a gender perspective, with an emphasis on its potential contribution to poverty alleviation at the local level. The case study was carried out in the Kiangara Community in Liwale District, Lindi Region, Tanzania, which is a part of the Angai Villages Land Forest Reserve. The study examined household and community resource management and politics, and the process of the surrounding communities obtaining ownership of the Angai Forest. On the basis of the collected data, the research project identified what would be the potential impacts of REDD+ in Kiangara from the points of view of poverty alleviation and gender equality. The study utilized Participatory Action and Learning methodology and partly applied Social Impact Assessment for Carbon Land Projects. The results of the study indicate that due to the long and externally driven process of participatory forest management in Kiangara, REDD+ runs a risk of becoming just another externally driven process. Because the ultimate objective of REDD+ is carbon sequestration, for it to enhance gender equality and contribute to poverty alleviation, everything depends on the implementers and participants in the process, rather than on the REDD+ mechanism itself. Furthermore, because of its expensive and extensive verification, monitoring and reporting requirements, it can unnecessarily draw attention away from improving local livelihoods, reducing inequality, and addressing the local drivers of deforestation. Due to the existing inequality at the community and household levels, REDD+ benefits are most likely to end up with those who are already better off, thereby enforcing elite capture. The study calls for alternative ways to support participatory forest management with climate funding that equally values climate change adaptation and mitigation and acknowledges their synergies. ...
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