UN-REDD, Kenya Assess REDD+ Corruption Risk

UN-REDD Programme14 January 2014: The UN Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation (UN-REDD) has reported that Kenya's Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources has launched 'A Corruption Risk Assessment for REDD+ in Kenya.' The study was conducted by the Anti-Corruption Resource Centre (U4) with the support of the UN-REDD Programme with engagement of Kenya's Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission.

Corruption risks outlined in the study include: unclear land tenure; the potential abuse of community forests and community forest associations; illegal logging; accountability and fraud in charcoal management; and problems in the licensing of state plantation harvesting.

The study suggests a number of actions to minimize corruption risks, including improved transparency in forest management, the establishment of mechanisms to report corruption, and enhanced decentralization efforts.

With regards to specific REDD+ risks, the study cites the potential for the mismanagement of financing, conflict of interest in measurement, reporting and verification (MRV), lack of consideration of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), and lack of transparency in non-governmental organizations (NGOs) acting as both implementers and beneficiaries.

In response to the corruption risks, the study suggests the development of a clear policy on REDD+ benefit sharing, the establishment of a REDD+ registry to share information, the scaling up of community mapping of forests, harmonization of corruption reporting mechanisms, the formation of a taskforce on grievance and redress, and the development of a code of ethics for REDD+ implementers.

The study was launched during the UN-REDD Policy Board Information Session on Sharing National Experiences on Strengthening Transparency, Accountability and Integrity for REDD+, which was held in Geneva, Switzerland, in December 2013. [Publication: A Corruption Risk Assessment for REDD+ in Kenya] [UN-REDD Programme's Support to Transparency and Accountability for REDD+]