Envisioning REDD+ in a post-Paris era

between evolving expectations and current practice

Esther Turnhout, Aarti Gupta, Janice Weatherley, Marjanneke J. Vijge, Jessica De Koning, Ingrid Visseren-Hamakers, Martin Herold, Markus Lederer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

From its advent in 2005 within global climate change negotiations, reducing carbon emissions from deforestation and other forest-related activities (so-called REDD+) has been experimented with in developing country contexts for over a decade now, with a wide array of expectations coming to be associated with it. Three consecutive conceptualizations are identifiable: carbon-centered, where REDD+ is primarily a climate mitigation strategy; co-benefits-centered, where REDD+ becomes a triple win solution for climate, biodiversity and communities; and landscape-centered, where REDD+ activities are embedded in integrated sustainable land-use approaches. In assessing such evolving expectations against existing REDD+ experiences, a mixed picture emerges. Some expectations, specifically relating to forest carbon financing, are not being adequately met, while others, notably the delivery of co-benefits, hold out more promise. Yet this also highlights a potential paradox facing REDD+. While there is growing recognition that co-benefit generation is key, and that piece-meal, forest-carbon focused REDD+ interventions are unlikely to address the complex causes of tropical forest loss, forest carbon is still being foregrounded in measuring and reporting on REDD+ performance, and in generating results-based payments (even as these aspects remain challenging). This implies, however, that the future of REDD+ may lie not in one conceptualization coming to dominate, but rather in co-existence of heterogeneous practices. REDD+ may end up as a patchwork of projects and practices with different foci and financing mechanisms. Although this cannot prevent trade-offs, such a heterodox REDD+ may provide building blocks for the polycentric governance of the world's remaining tropical forests.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere425
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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tropical forest
climate
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global climate
mitigation
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Cite this

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title = "Envisioning REDD+ in a post-Paris era: between evolving expectations and current practice",
abstract = "From its advent in 2005 within global climate change negotiations, reducing carbon emissions from deforestation and other forest-related activities (so-called REDD+) has been experimented with in developing country contexts for over a decade now, with a wide array of expectations coming to be associated with it. Three consecutive conceptualizations are identifiable: carbon-centered, where REDD+ is primarily a climate mitigation strategy; co-benefits-centered, where REDD+ becomes a triple win solution for climate, biodiversity and communities; and landscape-centered, where REDD+ activities are embedded in integrated sustainable land-use approaches. In assessing such evolving expectations against existing REDD+ experiences, a mixed picture emerges. Some expectations, specifically relating to forest carbon financing, are not being adequately met, while others, notably the delivery of co-benefits, hold out more promise. Yet this also highlights a potential paradox facing REDD+. While there is growing recognition that co-benefit generation is key, and that piece-meal, forest-carbon focused REDD+ interventions are unlikely to address the complex causes of tropical forest loss, forest carbon is still being foregrounded in measuring and reporting on REDD+ performance, and in generating results-based payments (even as these aspects remain challenging). This implies, however, that the future of REDD+ may lie not in one conceptualization coming to dominate, but rather in co-existence of heterogeneous practices. REDD+ may end up as a patchwork of projects and practices with different foci and financing mechanisms. Although this cannot prevent trade-offs, such a heterodox REDD+ may provide building blocks for the polycentric governance of the world's remaining tropical forests.",
author = "Esther Turnhout and Aarti Gupta and Janice Weatherley and Vijge, {Marjanneke J.} and {De Koning}, Jessica and Ingrid Visseren-Hamakers and Martin Herold and Markus Lederer",
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Envisioning REDD+ in a post-Paris era : between evolving expectations and current practice. / Turnhout, Esther; Gupta, Aarti; Weatherley, Janice; Vijge, Marjanneke J.; De Koning, Jessica; Visseren-Hamakers, Ingrid; Herold, Martin; Lederer, Markus.

In: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, Vol. 8, No. 1, e425, 2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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T1 - Envisioning REDD+ in a post-Paris era

T2 - between evolving expectations and current practice

AU - Turnhout, Esther

AU - Gupta, Aarti

AU - Weatherley, Janice

AU - Vijge, Marjanneke J.

AU - De Koning, Jessica

AU - Visseren-Hamakers, Ingrid

AU - Herold, Martin

AU - Lederer, Markus

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

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AB - From its advent in 2005 within global climate change negotiations, reducing carbon emissions from deforestation and other forest-related activities (so-called REDD+) has been experimented with in developing country contexts for over a decade now, with a wide array of expectations coming to be associated with it. Three consecutive conceptualizations are identifiable: carbon-centered, where REDD+ is primarily a climate mitigation strategy; co-benefits-centered, where REDD+ becomes a triple win solution for climate, biodiversity and communities; and landscape-centered, where REDD+ activities are embedded in integrated sustainable land-use approaches. In assessing such evolving expectations against existing REDD+ experiences, a mixed picture emerges. Some expectations, specifically relating to forest carbon financing, are not being adequately met, while others, notably the delivery of co-benefits, hold out more promise. Yet this also highlights a potential paradox facing REDD+. While there is growing recognition that co-benefit generation is key, and that piece-meal, forest-carbon focused REDD+ interventions are unlikely to address the complex causes of tropical forest loss, forest carbon is still being foregrounded in measuring and reporting on REDD+ performance, and in generating results-based payments (even as these aspects remain challenging). This implies, however, that the future of REDD+ may lie not in one conceptualization coming to dominate, but rather in co-existence of heterogeneous practices. REDD+ may end up as a patchwork of projects and practices with different foci and financing mechanisms. Although this cannot prevent trade-offs, such a heterodox REDD+ may provide building blocks for the polycentric governance of the world's remaining tropical forests.

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DO - 10.1002/wcc.425

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SN - 1757-7780

IS - 1

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ER -