REDD+ is based on conditional rewards for reducing carbon emissions, and it requires a system to designate who gets rewarded, why, under what conditions, in what proportions and for how long. Such systems are known as benefit-sharing mechanisms, a broad term that encompasses all institutional means, structures and instruments for distributing funds and other benefits from REDD+ programs.
CIFOR’s research into REDD+ benefit sharing aims to provide policy options and guidance in the design, development and implementation of such mechanisms. Benefit sharing is important for creating the necessary incentives to change behaviors and thus reduce carbon emissions. But, if stakeholders do not see the system as fair, it will threaten the legitimacy of and support for REDD+. A well-designed benefit-sharing mechanism supports the effectiveness of forest management and increases the efficiency of REDD+ programs, which is the aim of GCS REDD+ research.