More than 1.6 billion people or 25% of the global population rely on forests for their livelihoods and deforestation and degradation of forest land is estimated to account for roughly 12% of global greenhouse gas emissions (IPCC WGII, 2014). A financial mechanism to address concerns around the development, management and conservation of forests is Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+). REDD+ mainly promotes conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. It is anticipated that REDD+ will not only inherit many of the corruption risks that have long beset the forestry sector, but it will also bring with it new ones. Forest fringe communities are particularly vulnerable to corruption, because they often live in remote areas, poor and marginalized, and are usually unable to access the system of social and legal protection available to other members of society.
The need to strengthen local groups in REDD+ and forestry monitoring is essential in promoting accountability and environmental sustainability. Therefore every effort should be made to build the capacity of existing groups (women, youth, traditional authorities and farmers) and facilitate the formation of a multi-stakeholder platform for district wide dialogue.