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Defining the Legal Elements of Benefit Sharing in the Context of REDD+

Sophie Chapman, Martijn Wilder, Ilona Millar

How to share the benefits from REDD+ implementation is an important consideration for any country. For benefit sharing mechanisms designed to operate at the national level (often referred to as Benefit Distribution Systems), subnational level or project level, common structural elements will exist. In legal terms, this article refers to these as the legal elements of benefit sharing. From a legal perspective, the key questions to consider with respect to benefit sharing include how benefits are defined, how benefits are allocated (and to whom), how benefits are distributed, and how to ensure the accountability of benefit sharing arrangements (such as measures to ensure public participation and transparency). In order to assist stakeholders to deconstruct and organise the many different issues discussed within benefit sharing dialogues, this article offers a conceptual model of benefit sharing from a legal perspective, identifying and describing the different structural elements underpinning benefit sharing arrangements at any level of REDD+ implementation.

Dr Sophie Chapman is a Research Associate at the Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research, University of Cambridge; Martijn Wilder AM is a Partner in the Global Climate Change and Environmental Markets Practice at Baker & McKenzie, and Adjunct Professor of Climate Change Law at the Australian National University; Ilona Millar is a Special Counsel in the Global Climate Change and Environmental Markets Practice at Baker & McKenzie.


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