Book Chapter

Ownership of Land, Forest and Carbon


Savaresi A & Morgera E (2009) Ownership of Land, Forest and Carbon. In: Costenbader J (ed.) Legal Frameworks for REDD. IUCN Environmental Law and Policy Paper. IUCN, pp. 15-34.

Forest ownership is normally associated with land ownership.1 In developing countries, where REDD projects are being envisioned, often land title is not validly vested in local users, and land use arrangements are poorly defined and recorded. Both in Brazil and Indonesia – the countries with the largest carbon emissions in the forest sector – the relationship between customary and statutory rights in land is problematic. REDD projects face high investment risks where land ownership challenges exist. It is difficult to reward the relevant actors or owners without clear land title and properly designed regulatory systems that define the ownership of carbon in light of national or local conditions. Unclear land titles are likely to result in confusion over benefits and increase project risk. It is therefore helpful to begin an analysis of REDD regulatory frameworks with a discussion of land ownership and use rights, as well as proprietary interests in the services or elements that carbon sequestration represents.

Title of seriesIUCN Environmental Law and Policy Paper
Publication date31/12/2009
Publisher URL