Equity has featured prominently in international climate change discourse since the establishment of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992. Looking forward, equity is expected to be of even greater relevance in this year’s hoped for landmark climate agreement, to be finalized at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) remains central in global conversations at the intersection of forest and climate change policy. While the exact financing mechanism for REDD+ has yet to be determined, it is clear that demonstrating equity will be essential for accessing REDD+ financing in the future.
Lao PDR recognizes the importance of equity for ensuring an effective REDD+ framework. Therefore, this brief is designed to present key REDD+ equity challenges as identified by national policy makers and other stakeholders in Lao PDR and potential solutions to address those challenges. By highlighting national equity priorities identified during a workshop held in advance of COP21, we aim to ensure that future capacity development efforts are directed where there is the greatest need and national buy-in. Priority equity issues identified in Lao PDR include: benefit sharing, participation and decision making, and livelihoods.