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.
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