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Preparing for REDD+ in Dryland Forests


Approximately 100 million people live in the miombo region which covers 11 countries of eastern and southern Africa. About 75 million of them are poor and rely on woodlands, characterized by poor soils, as a resource and a safety net in times of stress.

Although exploitation of the woodlands for agriculture, timber and energy (fuelwood) has not contributed to widespread poverty alleviation, conservation of the woodlands would have  opportunity costs for land managers and users that need to be taken into account.  To change the behavior of farmers, payments for avoided deforestation and degradation (REDD+) will have to match or exceed the benefits from other land uses.


Drawing on lessons from two decades of successful community-based natural resource management in the miombo region, as well as cases studies in Namibia, Mozambique and Zambia,  the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) explored the opportunities for pro-poor REDD+ payments.

PROFOR supported this research, in-country consultations and related workshops led by country experts, to facilitate stakeholders’ awareness of the application of REDD+ payments in the national and regional context and different options for maximizing pro-poor returns and to contribute to to a better understanding of REDD+ in the run-up and aftermath of the UNFCC meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009.


Efforts to reduce deforestation in the miombo region will only be successful if:
1. Rights to land, resources and carbon are clarified and reside with farmers and communities.
2. There are legal and policy frameworks in place that value and reward land uses other than agriculture.
3. Payments made exceed the benefits that would accrue to farmers from
alternative land uses including agriculture; timber and energy (charcoal).
4. Implementation allows communities, local government and supporting
organizations to adapt activities to meet local conditions.
5. Implementation recognizes the potentially severe impacts of climate change on ecosystems agriculture and livelihoods in the region.
6. Underlying governance challenges that exist at all levels are addressed.

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Author : IIED [1] [1]
Last Updated : 05-23-2017