Some of the many challenges faced in trading in environmental goods and services include issues related to property rights, lack or inadequate policy and regulatory framework, poor or inexistent monitoring and enforcement strategy to ensure that all the stakeholders adhere to and benefit from the rules and conditions of transactions. Furthermore, the issue of equity remains and questions whether market solutions will effectively benefit rural populations in developing countries who live near forests and other landscapes that provide environmental services. The difficulties of ensuring equitable benefits in market transactions stem from the fact they undermine the rights of the forest dependent poorest. Also, concern exists that as new opportunities are introduced for forest resources, the poor may be unable to retain and exercise their human rights such as access rights, rights of control over forest resources and to benefit from them.

ACDEF law and policy, indigenous people rights and governance programme is established to primarily inform all our interventions in Africa and to provide the much needed technical capacity to local partners including governments on these issues. The programme is working to establish a two-way information flow to ensure that global environmental laws and policies, as well as the poverty reduction strategies elaborated at the national or international level are filtered down to the rural local communities in Africa. It is also ensuring that the elaboration of national or international laws and policies is not essentially desk-based, but is effectively informed by the realities on the ground in rural communities through case studies.

Please visit our Law and Policy, Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and Governance projects portfolio and let us share your thoughts and how you can help.