Identifying opportunities to tackle corruption in REDD+ and FLEGT
Representatives from EU institutions, REDD+ and FLEGT stakeholders and NGOs gathered at the European Parliament on 12 October in Brussels to discuss corruption risks and strategies to stamp out environmental crime in African countries.
The meeting coincided with the release of Transparency International’s report: REDD+ and corruption risks for Africa’s forests: case studies from Cameroon, Ghana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The EU-funded report made recommendations including the development of a transparency standard for REDD+, increasing the participation of under-represented stakeholders and prioritising the development of dispute-resolution mechanisms.
The meeting participants also discussed the need to strengthen links between FLEGT and other initiatives to fight corruption.
The EU REDD Facility highlighted the importance of transparency in the land-use sector and identified entry points in both REDD+ and FLEGT processes to reduce financial crime. These include cross-sectoral REDD+ investment planning to help identify financial bottlenecks and perverse incentives. Increasing multistakeholder involvement for greater accountability and creating new types of civil society oversight mechanisms such as independent monitoring also provide opportunities to reduce corruption risks.
The meeting participants acknowledged that there is no silver bullet to tackle corruption, and that there exists further space to debate the issue in country and international-level policy planning. The event also included the participation of UNDP, Global Witness and Fern.