Abstract: Reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD +) has been seen as an important element in future climate policies. This paper analyzes the establishment of a REDD + pilot project in Kilosa district, Tanzania. It documents changes in organizations and institutions for land management undertaken to enable villagers to produce and sell stored carbon. Moreover, it evaluates the legitimacy both of the process of introducing REDD + and the outcomes in the form of new governance structures. We find that establishing tradable carbon is demanding. In fact, no carbon has yet been sold. We observe that while the Kilosa REDD + pilot managed to engage local communities to a rather unusual extent, the case also showed that introducing REDD + ‘on the ground’ faces several challenges regarding legitimacy.
Keywords: Reduced deforestation; Institutional change; Carbon trading; Forest policy; Legitimacy; Participation.