This website is dedicated to our team-based Master’s Project: Attracting Investment to REDD+: Capitalizing on Co-Benefits?

The Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism is an emerging tool to reduce deforestation in tropical developing countries through performance-based payments for avoided carbon dioxide emissions in protected forests. Though designed around carbon benefits, REDD+ projects can provide many other environmental and social benefits (“co-benefits”). The major question of our Master’s Project is: “How do we measure and leverage REDD+ co-benefits to increase private-sector funding and support public-private partnerships?”

This question will be divided into four parts for the purposes of our project:

  1. What is the value of additional REDD+ metrics? What about the challenges?
  2. Which co-benefits can be monetized?
  3. What are the challenges associated with investment demand?
  4. What are the opportunities for expanding investment demand?

Through interviews and a survey, we evaluated opportunities to expand private-sector investment in REDD+ projects on the basis of their co-benefits. We explored barriers to private investment, challenges in measuring co-benefits, and the state of existing standards and metrics addressing co-benefits. We found little support for the creation of new standards or metrics to measure co-benefits among members of the REDD+ community, determining that current protocols to ensure that projects result in no net loss to provision of co-benefits are generally viewed as adequate. However, we identified specific opportunities to integrate REDD+ projects into programs financing conservation on the basis of non-carbon benefits, particularly biodiversity offsets and water funds.