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Lessons learned from REDD+: progress in 8 countries and the way forward

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“Lessons learned from REDD+: progress in 8 countries and the way forward”, organized by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), took place in Jakarta, Indonesia, on May 9, 2018.

All over the world, REDD+ countries are struggling with the design and implementation of coherent policies and measures to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. To bring evidence on which factors and configurations are crucial to make progress will be helpful for decision-makers and practitioners at all levels involved in REDD+.

In 2012 and 2014, CIFOR, through Global Comparative Study on REDD+, examined the national political context in 13 REDD+ countries to identify the enabling conditions for achieving progress with the implementation of countries’ REDD+ policies and measures. To assess countries’ progress with REDD+, CIFOR looked at various factors, such as importance of already initiated policy change, and the availability of performance-based funding in combination with strong national ownership of the REDD+ process.

The findings show REDD+ countries are on different stages. Brazil and Guyana are among countries in incomplete progress. Although Brazil was assessed successful in REDD+ progress but they have not completely overcome path dependencies in deforestation and forest degradation (May, Millikan, & Gebara, 2011), despite the country’s investments in command and control measures (Assunc¸a˜o, Gandour, & Rocha, 2012; Maia, Hargrave, Go´mez, & Ro¨per, 2011). Guyana, with much less pressure on forest resources seems to strengthen its REDD+ path with improved institutions of forest governance and considerable progress in developing an MRV system (Birdsall & Busch, 2014), although this remains debated (Henders & Ostwald, 2013). Indonesia, after the 2015 political change, confirmed the importance of ownership over the REDD+ process if performance-based payments are supposed to make a difference. REDD+ in Indonesia has been from its beginnings a highly contested and dynamic policy arena (Indrarto et al., 2012).

Assessment on REDD+ progress in Vietnam showed a positive outcome irrespective of whether there are inclusive policy processes or not. It is important to note that ownership of the REDD+ process has reduced only recently (and seems to be regained with developments in the institutional set-up in 2015). Hence, the finding could indicate that progress is possible when donors politically and financially dominate the REDD+ process while there is political commitment to REDD+ by the government as well as by coalitions of drivers of changes. Several REDD+ countries, such as Ethiopia, are on rocky roads due to lack of ownership and performance based funding commitment, despite of efforts to make the process more inclusive. This is probably explained by the fact that Ethiopia started their REDD+ process rather recently (Bekele et al., 2015; Kambire et al., 2015).

This video was originally published by CIFOR.

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