For the project to go ahead, we needed to obtain the communities’ free, prior and informed consent (FPIC). We saw the importance of an FPIC process, so one of our earliest activities was awareness raising about REDD+ and payments for carbon offsets.
This seemed a sensible way to start engaging with local communities, because our initial understanding was that once the communities committed to protecting the forests, we could start claiming carbon offsets. To demonstrate this commitment, we developed a contract with the communities outlining what project activities they would do.
This turned out to be a really difficult challenge...