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Analytical studies of the current legislation in place to support REDD+ have been released in Honduras and Guatemala. The studies, accompanied by in-country consultative and participatory processes, have helped to guide recommendations to enact REDD+ legal reforms and adopt new legislation.

In Honduras, the publication Obstáculos y opciones legales para la implementación de iniciativas REDD+ en Honduras presents research carried out by the GIZ/REDD-CCAD, on laws and regulations adopted after 2012, a comparative analysis of legislations from three Latin-American countries (Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru) and the law on forests, protected areas and wildlife (Decree 98-2007).

The report explores the legal options to address the main factors of deforestation and degradation; while viable solutions are identified through the adoption of definitions (ecological easements), clarification of environmental compensatory mechanisms  (access to payment for environmental services or funds created under the forest law) or the regulation of the free, prior and informed consent process. Conflicting sectoral laws and insecure tenure rights have also been considered as major obstacles to REDD+ in the context of the regional workshops.  Administrative procedures or executive decrees could be adopted instead of reforming the law to harmonize conflicting sectoral interests or to regulate institutional aspects.    

In Guatemala, the publication Diagnóstico del marco jurídico ambiental guatemalteco en los temas de derechos de propiedad sobre bienes y servicios ambientales y elementos del cambio climático vinculados a REDD+ en el marco del Decreto 07-2013, looks at the climate change law (Decree 7-2013), property rights associated with environmental services, and the environmental legal framework in support of REDD+.  Legal capacities have also been strengthened at the institutional level, including the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, the National Forest Institute and the National Commission of Protected Areas, among others.  Proposals for legal reform focused on the need to adopt regulations to implement the climate change law, in order for example, to clarify provisions related to carbon rights (article 22).  The study also contains sections referring to the interventions made by legal experts in the context of the consultative process carried out. 

In addition, the FAO legal office also recently released a document outlining the international response to climate change at the global level focusing on elements of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The legal paper Climate change and forestry legislation in support of REDD+  provides examples of countries that have taken legislative action in line with the objectives of REDD+ to combat the effects of climate change. It highlights the ways legislation reflects countries’ commitments to REDD+ and specifically examines the linkages between REDD+ and forest, and climate change laws using examples from Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Africa.

Particularly, the study shows, a growing number of countries have or are aiming to adopt a comprehensive climate change law clearly defining emissions reduction targets, incorporating policy measures or strategies and complementary norms to reach the expected climate change adaptation and mitigation objectives.  Most of the countries cited have also adopted specific secondary legislation establishing climate change institutional entities, such as the Climate Change Commission of Philippines, the Climate Change Office of Argentina or the National Observatory on Climate Change of Cameroon.


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