Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD-plus) was evolved to provide incentives for the enhancement of carbon stock through conservation of forests. There are concerns about the potential impacts of REDD-plus on local livelihoods. This article accesses the socioeconomic impacts of two townships within the REDD-plus pilot project through using households’ data from control and intervention villages. It found that REDD-plus pilot program had no significant impact on livelihood resources but relatively contributed to some extent for the development of physical capitals, particularly in terms of community awareness raising in intervention villages. The study revealed that 63% of households in intervention villages were pursuing “Forests and Daily Labor” Livelihood Strategy (LS) in which 54% of households were using “Human and NTFPs” capitals. Meanwhile, in control villages, 27% of households were following “Forest and Wage Labor” Livelihood strategies (LS) in which 31% of households were depending on forest resources. Most of the households in intervention villages depend on the non-timber forest resources (NTFPs) for their livelihoods and they do not have enough income for their welfare. For control villages, households were pursuing daily labor for their livelihood and they also had to depend on forest resources for their subsistence and commercial purposes. This study also found that the sole dependency of forest resources for livelihood could not create standalone livelihood strategy in the area of high poverty and forest dependency rate. This study recommends Community Forestry (CF) as a policy framework which should be used for the integration of REDD-plus activities to the community livelihood development. Moreover, this study encourages inter-sectoral dialogue for the cooperation among agencies, line-departments to ensure REDD-plus implementation benefits to local communities’ livelihood resources.
REDD-plus, socioeconomic impacts, livelihood strategies, livelihood resources, pilot program, Myanmar
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