Thinking beyond the canopy

Analysing REDD+: challenges and choices

Monday 18 June, 15.30 - 17.00 
Room: T-9, Rio Centro

Climate change is a key global challenge and national, sub-national, and local actors are responding in the political, social, and economic spheres. Forests are a key part of the international mitigation agenda. Transformational change is required to realize the forest sector's mitigation potential through avoided deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). Dense webs of economic interests, political realities, and local needs come to the forefront as countries become "ready for REDD+" and start to develop national REDD+ strategies and policies.

For the past four years, CIFOR and partners have been conducting a Global Comparative Study on REDD+ on policy development and the early stages of implementation. In this side event we presented the results of this work that are pertinent to the objectives of the CSD and the development of a green economy.

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Detailed programme

REDD+ offers the opportunity to transform the forest sector in a manner consistent with the vision of a green economy. However, following the decisions in Durban, there does not yet exist a policy environment capable of support robust growth of forest carbon markets, and REDD+ in the foreseeable future is likely to be funded mainly from bilateral/multilateral sources (partly as aid), smaller regional carbon markets, and voluntary efforts. As efforts around REDD+ intensify at the international level, global economic turbulence relegates attention to climate change further down on the list of national priorities. Contributing further to this relegation are food price spikes and land shortages. These also put pressure on forest conversion for food production, biofuels and valuable cash crops to spur economic development, even though the basis for these choices are in many ways not yet substantiated. As a consequence, REDD+ is getting off the ground more slowly than expected at the national level, but some countries are initiating reforms that were unthinkable pre-REDD+.

In this session we explored how REDD+ is shaping the forest sector for a green economy, and also how REDD+ is being shaped by institutional path dependencies, interests, ideas and the power and politics of data and information.