A belated response to Evan Marcus' comment on "the positive nature of creating legal valuations for forest land" as a protective measure against corporate land grabs: In 'REDD: A collection of conflicts, contradictions and lies' I compiled experiences from 24 REDD+ activities for the World Rainforest Movement. In almost all of the examples included in the report, one source of conflict - perhaps the most recurrent - was dispute over who holds what rights to a piece of land, or lack of recognition by state and / or private sector entities of local users' rightful claim to use rights or even ownership rights. Had the compilation included 100 or 500 instead of 24 examples, the pattern would not have changed, I believe. In such a context, would legal valuation not just increase the incentive to rob local users who are marginalized in the decision-making process over use of the land that provides their livelihoods? Would such valuation not just further expose them to the risk of losing access to the land that sustains them? The WRM publication mentioned earlier cites some examples, I can think of a great many more, unfortunately - and see no indication that the Paris climate COP outcome or existing REDD+ initiatives would change this reality in any way.
Jutta Kill is a researcher and activist who has written extensively about carbon markets and voluntary certification schemes.