Sie sind hier: Startseite Forschung Landschaftsentwicklung & Naturschutz Effective participation of communities

Effective participation of communities

How to achieve effective participation of communities in the monitoring of REDD+ projects:
A case study of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)



Deforestation and forest degradation are major sources of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) in tropical developing countries. Together they contribute approximately 20% of the global anthropogenic CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. Recognition of the crucial role played by tropical forests in the global carbon cycle has led to the introduction of the Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+) mechanism in the UNFCCC negotiations on climate change. 


Deforestation for agricultural activities
© Joëlle Mukungu

As a financial mitigation mechanism that encourages developing countries to participate in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emission in the atmosphere, REDD+ can also contribute in the protection of forest biodiversity and ecosystem services. In fact, tropical forests contain a huge proportion of global biodiversity and provide many ecosystem goods and services to people.
The UNFCCC developed safeguards to ensure that REDD+ will not create incentives for the destruction of forest biodiversity and also to underpin the important role of local and indigenous communities in REDD+ implementation. Since REDD+ is a result-based mechanism, the UNFCCC established a system for “Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV)” to be implemented at national or sub-national level. It requires high technical and scientific methods that involve mostly professionals, thus making the participation of local stakeholders very difficult.
While the international REDD+ mechanism is still being negotiated under the UNFCCC, many developing countries, including those from the Congo Basin have already started to implement REDD+ pilot projects. Pilot projects can be initiated by a wide range of actors and usually aim at selling carbon credits on the voluntary carbon markets.

For this purpose, participation of stakeholders, especially local communities and indigenous peoples, is strongly recommended. In particular, community-based monitoring (CBM) has been proposed as a way of involving communities in REDD+ monitoring at local or project level. Indeed, some studies from REDD+ countries have shown that CBM can be a source of many advantages such as: cost efficiency, increasing community ownership, strengthen sustainability, and data quality. Yet, there is still not much experience with the CBM of REDD+ projects. 



Forests’ distribution in the Democratic Republic of Congo © Defourny et al., 2011




Thus, specific objectives of this project are to: 

  • Improve understanding of the role of local community and indigenous people in monitoring REDD+ projects;
  • Obtain the view of experts on the best way of implementing a CBM of REDD+ projects and the way it can contribute to the national MRV system implemented by countries in the Congo Basin region.



The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been chosen as our case study, based on the fact that it does not only possess the biggest Congo Basin forest’s area, (about 61%), but it is also the most advanced country in terms of implementing REDD+ projects in the region.
The study will use the Delphi technique, a method that helps to obtain the most reliable consensus of opinion of a group of experts. Experts will be selected from scientists, government, private sector, and civil society organizations.
We expect that the result of our study will contribute to the establishment of a successful participatory monitoring of REDD+ projects in DRC, and in other countries of the Congo basin region.




March 2015 – February 2016


Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the International climate protection fellowship


Dr. Christine Schmitt


Joëlle Mukungu Nkombela


Benutzerspezifische Werkzeuge