FIG Peer Review Journal


Land Administration for REDD+ and Voluntary Carbon Market Projects (5044)

David Mitchell (Australia), Jaap Zevenbergen, Christiaan Lemmen and Paul Van Der Molen (Netherlands)
Dr. David Mitchell
Director, Land Centre
RMIT University
School of Mathematical and Geosaptial Sciences
GPO Box 2476V
Corresponding author Dr. David Mitchell (email: david.mitchell[at], tel.: + 61 3 9925 2420)

[ abstract ] [ paper ] [ handouts ]

Published on the web 2011-03-16
Received 2010-11-22 / Accepted 2011-02-10
This paper is one of selection of papers published for the FIG Working Week 2011 in Marrakech, Morocco and has undergone the FIG Peer Review Process.

FIG Working Week 2011
ISBN 978-87-90907-92-1 ISSN 2307-4086


The aim of this paper is to outline the potential role and requirements for land administration in the context of payments for environmental services (PES) as part of climate change mitigation projects. The discussion covers the potential land issues on PES schemes operating in settings with legal pluralism and overlapping and conflicting claims and use of land, the land tenure information required for REDD+ and Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) Projects, and the land administration options available. The requirements for carbon accounting are discussed and three case studies are explored to consider how beneficiaries are determined and property rights recorded during the project implementation. A review of innovative land administration practices and tools is instructive in considering which approaches may be applied to PES projects. The discussion considers the range of alternatives available for recording and certifying property rights on private, state and communal land, including in situations where rights to land and other resources overlap spatially or temporarily, and where social tenures exist. The authors conclude that protecting the property rights of project beneficiaries is a critical component of PES projects, be it at an individual or community level. Elements of existing approaches to recording rights on private, state and customary lands are suitable for implementation on CDM, REDD, REDD+ and VCM projects. It is likely that land administration will form an integral part of an integrated system for carbon accounting and reporting and the implementation of PES projects. Experience shows that decentralized land administration and effective community consultation are key elements to the protection of property rights, and that a significant investment in capacity buildings of land administration and customary agencies is required to improve sustainability.
Keywords: Capacity building; Cadastre; Land management; Security of tenure; Access to land; climate change mitigation; PES; LIS