9 December 2016

New publication: Desirable qualities of REDD+ projects not considered in decisions of project locations

This news is redirected by The Secretariat for Development Cooperation at SCIENCE from IOP Science.

Authors: Maya Pasgaard & Ole Mertz.

Published 8 November 2016 in Environmental Research Letters, Vol. 11, Number 11.


Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) has become a major conservation and development concept for international climate change mitigation over the past years with hundreds of so-called 'demonstration' or 'pilot' projects being planned and implemented across the Global South. Since the broad aim of such projects is to demonstrate climate benefits from reduced deforestation, as well as social co-benefits in receiving countries, the decision on REDD+ locations should ideally center on specific geographical and socioeconomic characteristics, such as high deforestation threat, low opportunity costs, large forest area size, and high local willingness to engage. Based on recent literature supplemented with opinions and perspectives from REDD+ specialists, we compare these desirable qualities for REDD+ locations with actual location of REDD+ projects. We illustrate how locating REDD+ projects is often in the hands of external organizations and tightly connected to their previous engagements in the location. We also show how specific characteristics of these externally driven REDD+ project locations vary according to the sub-objectives of the individual projects and do not always correspond with the overall goal of REDD+. These pre-conditioned decisions and diverging objectives at the meso-level may further complicate global REDD+ agreements.

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