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Schemes for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) have emerged as a means to address deforestation trends in developing countries and related emissions of forest carbon. Governance and corruption challenges facing REDD+ are widely acknowledged to be daunting both in their scale and severity. Learning lessons from empirical studies on corruption, anti-corruption and early REDD+ activities is important for minimising corruption risks in future REDD+ implementation. This U4 Issue paper draws together findings and suggestions for anti-corruption policy and practice from U4’s three year REDD Integrity project. We find that addressing corruption in REDD+ requires a broad approach to accountability and not one merely focused on protecting REDD+ financing. There are often few legal mechanisms for external monitoring of community elites engaging with REDD+, and more attention needs to be placed on developing a cadre of REDD+ programme staff with anti-corruption expertise. Clearer procedures for managing forest carbon funds and distributing them to relevant rights holders will be vital to reduce many corruption risks.

David Aled Williams

Principal Adviser (U4) and Senior Researcher (CMI)