The world's forests are disappearing at an alarming rate.
Not only does this endanger biodiversity and the livelihoods of
forest-dependent communities, it is a major contributing factor to
global climate change. It is a challenge that needs to be addressed
The international community has responded by developing a policy
initiative to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation,
otherwise known as REDD+. The ongoing negotiations under the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have seen
substantial progress in the development of a potential REDD+
mechanism. In the interim, numerous countries have begun their
preparations to become "ready for REDD+", with the
assistance of both donor nations and the multilateral development
banks. As this work progresses, it is becoming clear that there is
a need to develop a consistent approach to the concept of
"carbon rights" in national REDD+ regimes.
This report draws from public material and our experience in
acting for a range of government and private participants in the
area of REDD+ to ask how forest carbon rights are being approached
in practice. In light of our experience and the excitement about
the potential contribution of REDD+ in Africa, we have focused our
attention on five African nations: Kenya, Ghana, Democratic
Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Tanzania. Some key questions we
have considered include:
What are some of the elements of a workable forest carbon
regime that are emerging from policy discussions?
What aspects of existing tenure, forest and environment regimes
are relevant to these elements, particularly as the basis for
establishing beneficial proxy models to govern early-stage
What do the above questions tell us about how forest carbon
regimes should develop further in order to move forward?
Although definitive conclusions are not possible without further
consideration beyond a legal analysis, some preliminary conclusions
Most countries have useful laws relating to forest and
environmental management that could be developed further to address
REDD+, although this will be a question of implementation
Existing issues with complex or insecure tenure arrangements
will also potentially delay or frustrate the development of a
consistent approach to forest carbon in a country
Centralised approaches that are consistent with existing laws
may offer a good starting point, particularly when structured as
central guidance that allows for regional implementation
Many countries are utilising pilot projects that could involve
testing the role of the private sector in REDD+ activities
Some countries are looking at interesting ideas that could
enhance their ability to attract REDD+ finance, both public and
Andrew Hedges Partner, European Head of Climate Change, London
Norton Rose LLP
In September 2009 the NSW Government announced that by way of an amendment to the Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006 the Land and Environment Court would be given the power to resolve disputes between neighbours over high, dense hedges that severely affected views and sunlight.
Further to the Alert issued by Jones Day in March, the Queensland Parliament passed the Environmental Protection (Chain of Responsibility) Amendment Act 2016 (Qld) (Amendment Act) on 22 April 2016.
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