Reports & Analysis
Making the Case for Private Sector Engagement in REDD+
This new UN-REDD publication aims to encourage public sector REDD+ planners and practitioners to engage with and mobilize the private sector through a range of possible interventions.
The role of the private sector in REDD+ has to date received relatively little attention in discussions about REDD+ planning and implementation. One of the reasons for this is that the term ‘private sector’ is broad, includes a huge diversity of actors, can be nebulous and may mean different things to different people making it challenging to conceptualize the sector as a whole.
The recently published UN-REDD Programme policy brief, The Role of the Private Sector in REDD+: the Case for Engagement and Options for Intervention, clarifies issues related to the role of the private sector in REDD+. The brief identifies two main groups of actors from the private sector that are most relevant to REDD+: actors focused on the production and sale of verified emission reductions and actors involved in the supply chains of forest-risk commodities. The involvement and active engagement of both groups will be critical for the success of REDD+, yet while most efforts to engage the private sector in REDD+ have focused on the first group, little has been done to engage actors driving deforestation and forest degradation in the design of REDD+.
Furthermore, the brief argues that the involvement of the private sector is key for realizing the opportunities presented by REDD+. The private sector can contribute to REDD+ in three key areas. First, the private sector can bring the innovation that will be necessary to decouple economic growth from resource depletion through the development and deployment of new technologies. Second, given the current state of public finances, private sector capital will be essential to meeting the investment requirements to deliver on REDD+. Last, the private sector can also play an important role during the implementation of some REDD+ related activities and to bring results on the ground.
Finally, the brief provides a range of possible interventions for engaging with and mobilizing the private sector for delivering on REDD+, classifying public sector intervention into four broad approaches: incentives, risk mitigation instruments, minimum standards of behavior and enabling conditions.
The authors of the report conclude that engagement and involvement of the private sector is a pre-condition for REDD+ to succeed. If comprehensive engagement is not prioritized, there is a high probability that social, financial, economic and political mechanisms designed to reduce forest loss will be ineffective, wasting valuable time along with scarce human, political and financial capital.