Market and non-market costs of REDD+ perceived by local communities: a case study in East Cambodia

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Forest dependent communities use forests for a range of timber and non-timber products, for sale and subsistence use. Their formal and informal use of forests means that they are likely to be most affected by the implementation of REDD+, therefore their perceptions should be included when assessing the costs of implementing REDD+ to ensure that REDD+ is implemented equitably and will be effective.

KEY POINTS

• Forest dependent communities’ perceptions of non-market costs should be included when assessing the costs associated with REDD+, as they are the actors who will largely bear these costs.

• Opportunity cost analysis is a useful tool for measuring the market costs of avoiding deforestation. However, it does not capture all the locally relevant costs of REDD+ since it fails to quantify non-market costs. In order to fill this gap the study uses a Contingent Valuation (CV) technique by directly interviewing forest dependent communities.

• This study finds that in the Mondulkiri province, Cambodia, 17% of the overall costs perceived by local communities of a proposed REDD+ project relate to non-market costs. These are additional to the costs found by applying an opportunity costs analysis (market costs).

• This paper suggests that these non-market costs could be offset by different types of in-kind compensation such as: clarifying land tenure for local communities; expanding local opportunities in the resin market and enhancing the provision of education in the area.

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