Learning is at the heart of IIED’s work: we place value on building our knowledge, creating the space to test out in practice what we have learnt and finding ways to bring people together to share ideas and experiences.
Known as ‘land grabs’ in the media, large-scale land-based investments have generated much international debate. Some commentators have welcomed the new livelihood opportunities investment may bring to lower-income countries. Others have raised concerns about negative social impacts, including loss of local rights to land, water and other natural resources; threats to local food security; and the risk that large-scale investments marginalise family farmers.
Access to modern, safe, affordable and sustainable energy is increasingly recognised as crucial for development. Designing the delivery of energy services that can meet the needs and wants of end-users, in particular those of men and women living in poverty, is a complex task that requires a range of skills (technical, managerial and financial) and cooperation between multiple stakeholders. Equally, scaling up services successfully requires adapting delivery models to different local contexts rather than simple replication or a “one size fits all” approach.
IIED is looking at how REDD+, a scheme which aims to compensate developing countries to reduce carbon emissions and conserve and sustainably manage their forests, can be designed at international, national and local levels to promote sustainable development and reduce poverty, as well as reduce deforestation and forest degradation.
Women from poor, forest-dependent communities play a key role in the management of forests, and yet they are frequently marginalised from decision-making in communities. This is a problem as gender equity is essential for tackling more sustainable forest management, and to achieving the aims of REDD+, which aims to reduce emissions and conserve forests in specific countries.
IIED is working with partners to understand and document the scale of private sector engagement with REDD+, which aims to reduce emissions and conserve forests in specific countries. We are doing this by developing a series of national-level case studies and a global database.
To restore forests and get out of poverty, rural communities need the knowledge and connections to build flourishing enterprises. Forest Connect aims to reduce poverty and protect forests by better linking locally-controlled forest and farm enterprises, not only to each other, but also to markets, financial and business support services and to decision makers, policymakers and policy processes, such as National Forest Programmes.
Locally-controlled forest enterprises are a key way to protect both forests and the livelihoods of those who live in and around them. But they can be weak and so small that profits are marginal. That’s why IIED is working to strengthen their capacity and organisation.
Inclusive environmental investments — from both public and private sector finance — are essential if local forest people are to benefit from deals that are both fair and support climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.
The way forests are governed is crucial for affecting how local people benefit from forests. IIED helps secure local communities’ commercial rights to forests by using a ‘learning group approach’, which emphasises sharing tools and tactics that have worked. At the same time, we also look at measures to reduce demand for agricultural and forest products that result in deforestation or degradation.