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The Elements of Benefit-sharing for REDD+ in Kenya: A Legal Perspective

Sophie Chapman, Rowena Maguire, Mona Doshi, Caroline Wanjiku Kago, Nelly Kamunde-Aquino, Leah Kiguatha, Elizabeth Dooley, Gretchen Engbring

Benefit-sharing is one of the most current and controversial topics within REDD+ policy debates at the national level. It encompasses a range of different issues, and the practical design of benefit-sharing mechanisms within both REDD+ projects and wider jurisdictional programmes is a complex task. A legal perspective of benefit-sharing offers an organising framework comprised of different “elements” which can be used to understand how existing laws apply to benefit-sharing and also to inform the structure of future benefit-sharing mechanisms. Kenya is currently reviewing its governance arrangements for REDD+, including how to manage existing project-level activities within a national programme. With a view to contributing to ongoing discussions regarding the governance of benefit-sharing under REDD+, this article considers how current Kenyan laws inform benefit-sharing arrangements for REDD+ and discusses issues that will require further attention moving forward.

Dr. Sophie Chapman is a Research Associate at the Centre for Development Studies, Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Cambridge (England) and Lecturer at BPP Law School, London (England); Dr. Rowena Maguire is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the Queensland University of Technology (Australia) and Adjunct Senior Lecturer at Strathmore Law School, Nairobi (Kenya); Mona Doshi is a Partner at law firm Anjarwalla & Khanna, Mombasa (Kenya); Caroline Wanjiku Kago is a Lecturer in Private Law at the Kenyatta University School of Law, Nairobi (Kenya); Nelly Kamunde-Aquino is a Lecturer in Public Law at the Kenyatta University School of Law, Nairobi (Kenya); Leah Kiguatha is a Lecturer in Public Law at the Kenyatta University School of Law, Nairobi (Kenya); Gretchen Engbring is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society at the College of Forestry, Oregon State University (United States); and, Elizabeth Dooley is a Researcher at the Ecologic Institute, Berlin (Germany). This research was generously sponsored by the Swedish Ministry of the Environment/Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). Please note that domestic legal reforms following the enactment of Kenya’s Constitution of 2010 are ongoing; please be aware that the rules discussed in this article could have changed since the time of writing.


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