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REDD+ in dryland forests: Issues and prospects for pro-poor REDD in the miombo woodlands of southern Africa

Implementing REDD+ programs involves providing sufficient incentives to land users and requires a supportive policy, legal and institutional environment. Community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) in the miombo ecoregion of east and southern Africa has addressed these issues in its evolution. This has seen the evolution of policy, legal and institutional mechanisms that attach market value to commonly controlled resources and facilitate market-led conservation, leading to some successful sustainable management of natural resources. The lessons from CBNRM in the miombo ecoregion provide a basis on which REDD+ in dry-land forests can build. While there has been a general positive trend in the development of supportive policies at regional level, individual countries are at different stages of a policy continuum. In a region where poverty is high and is also a key driver of land use change, REDD+ mechanisms need to be pro-poor, explicitly addressing and building the assets and capability of the poorest households at policy level and in practice.
The Program on Forests (PROFOR) supported a research project in the miombo ecoregion to address these and other issues that a REDD program in the region would be confronted with. Three country case studies covering Zambia, Mozambique and Namibia were used to draw lessons from CBNRM that could inform pro-poor REDD as well as providing the likely opportunity costs of REDD+. The study draws on well-documented experiences of CBNRM and wide consultations undertaken by country experts during the study.

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