||Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) is a promising mechanism of payments for ecosystem services with the aim to effectively reduce emissions in an efficient and equitable manner. REDD+ is part of the Paris-agreement reached at the UNFCCC COP21 in December 2015, but questions on whether REDD+ will work and bring multi-benefits are still hotly debated. Moreover, the results and messages from research on REDD+ in different regions are mixed, context-based and fragmented. Here, we employ a survey among REDD+ stakeholders, researchers, and consultants to evaluate the opportunities and challenges of REDD+ for achieving effective, efficient and equitable outcomes and co-benefits (3E+). We substantiate our survey results with a literature review. Results suggest that the challenges in achieving the 3E+ relate to the disproportionality between deforestation drivers and mitigation measures, diverging perceptions of equity among REDD+ stakeholders, complexity of property rights, and fragile willingness of stakeholders to engage in REDD+. If these challenges can be successfully addressed by the involved stakeholder groups, they can be turned into opportunities for realizing REDD+.