Project developers and implementors

Last changed: 25 January 2023
project implementors Africa

To properly address the local context and the needs, norms and values of the different groups of people living on and near the project site, is one of the most important risk reduction strategies for you as project designer or implementer. Careful social and cultural analyses are therefore a way to enhance project sustainability, by avoiding local resistance and protests and securing local collaboration and support. This guide presents important processes and tools to contribute to positive impacts on local populations.

Carbon forestry projects are complex and there are often trade-offs between carbon, biodiversity and local needs – also different groups in local communities have differing needs. It can be tempting to ignore signs of problems or listen only to the groups that express satisfaction with your project. This guide helps you to ask research-based questions to ensure that your project is indeed as good as possible regarding local social aspects. Increasingly, buyers of carbon credits are likely to put higher and higher demands on social aspects of projects.


The questions in this guide can for example be used in developing Project Design Documents/Project Description Templates, or when evaluating projects. Also, you could expect actors and individuals who invest in tree planting projects, and those who buy carbon credits, to ask these questions about your projects.
Warning signs point to great risks for negative local impacts. If you find that your project design includes parts or processes that have been flagged with this sign, you should most likely reconsider the project and redesign it so as to avoid this aspect of the project

Click on one of these five themes to see the guide:
  1. Understanding the local context
  2. Land use and access for local populations
  3. Degradation/deforestation
  4. Socio economic opportunities and risks for local populations
  5. Power relations including participation