The Economist reports carbon fraud in Papua New Gunea. (Ironically, PNG is the home of the leading REDD activist, Kevin Conrad.) It seems that the PNG government was selling "synthetic" offset credits without any permission, certification, accounting or oversight -- since 2005!
The broader issue with any kind of carbon credit, however, is ensuring that governments of poor countries behave impeccably. Indeed, if problems like this can happen in Mr Conrad’s own back yard, it suggests that the challenges ahead for REDD are tough ones.Ouch. (Also read this overview from them.)
Avoided deforestation is a big deal for climate-change policy. It is also a prize worth fighting for, even if it is hard to achieve. Poor governance, on top of poorly defined and defended forest property rights, mean that without proper care REDD could become a recipe for disaster rather than part of a solution the world needs.
Bottom Line: It's not easy to set up markets, but it's easy to understand that you can only sell stuff you own!