Comparing progress in national REDD+ policy processes

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The presentation of Monica Di Gregorio, of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and University of Leeds, to the IIED-hosted Moving ahead with Reducing Emissions from Deforestation …

The presentation of Monica Di Gregorio, of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and University of Leeds, to the IIED-hosted Moving ahead with Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) workshop on 9-10 April 2014.

The presentation, made in the second session on moving beyond readiness and the role of the private sector, focused on whether NGOs and the private sector was heading in the right direction with REDD+ schemes, and doing the right thing.

More information on CIFOR's work:

Further details of the workshop and IIED's work on REDD+ are available via

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  • Photo: CIFOR Slide Library #13531 -- Mapajo tree in Pando, Bolivia
  • in democratic polities, opportunities for a reformist REDD+ agenda to progress likely arise through the presence of bargaining and conflictual relations between reformist non-state actors and business-as-usual interests.In authoritarian regimes such as Vietnam: the lack of openness of the country’s political regime and the inability of non-state actors, both national and international, to openly express dissent
  • Characteristics to TC discourse: 1. they clearly discuss specific policy reforms needed to address drivers of deforestation and forest degradation; 2. they take into account the risks and trade-offs that a REDD+ mechanism might entail; 3. they go beyond technocratic solutions to reduce emissions and include the need for governance and institutional change; 4. they explicitly challenge existing power relations that support business as usual.


  • 1. THINKING beyond the canopy Comparing progress in national REDD+ policy processes Monica Di Gregorio (CIFOR and University of Leeds/SRI) 9th April 2014– IIED, London
  • 2. THINKING beyond the canopy Analysis of national REDD+ policy processes • 13 countries studied since 2009 • Analysis of the Context of REDD+ 2)Media analysis 3) Policy network analysis • Case studies and comparative studies 2
  • 3. THINKING beyond the canopy Comparative studies  Qualitative comparative analysis • Assesses factors that have enabled REDD+ policy progress • 2 step-QCA: Institutional and proximate conditions (policy processes) in 12 countries  Comparative policy network analysis • Investigates progress in relation to: • Power structures: distribution of power & type of interactions in 7 countries  Comparative media analysis • Investigates the potential of public discourses in the national media to facilitate policy change in 7 countries 3
  • 4. THINKING beyond the canopy QCA: How is progress in REDD+ defined? The phased approach (Meridian 2009, UNFCCC) 4
  • 5. THINKING beyond the canopy Analysis: Two-step QCA Outcome variable: Establishment of comprehensive policies targeting transformational change in the REDD+ policy domain (phase II)  Brazil, Indonesia and Vietnam  Six factors divided into two categories to explain outcome • Institutional setting: pressure on forest resources (PRES); effective forest policy and governance (EFF); pre-existing CC/ reduction of deforestation policies (CHA) • Policy process: national ownership (OWN); transformational coalitions (COAL); inclusiveness of the policy process (INC) 5
  • 6. THINKING beyond the canopy Results: Institutional conditions Policy conditions Pre-existing CC and forestry reforms (CHA) as a prerequisite for progress REDD+ but only in the presence of either  high pressure on forest resources (PRES: Brazil and Indonesia)  or key features of effective forest legislation, policy and governance (EFF: Vietnam) Where an enabling institutional setting is in place, two proximate conditions proofed to be crucial for all three successful countries (Brazil, Vietnam and Indonesia):  National ownership (OWN)  Transformational coalitions (COAL) Indonesia: PRES*eff*CHA*OWN*COAL*incl 6
  • 7. THINKING beyond the canopy Policy Network Analysis  Assess impact of power structures on REDD+ progress  Analysis underway in 8 countries (Brazil, Cameroon, Indonesia, Nepal, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Tanzania, Vietnam >1000 interviews hours)  One comparative and seven case study analysis (forthcoming special issue Ecology and Society) 7
  • 8. THINKING beyond the canopy Comparative PNA: Power structures 8
  • 9. THINKING beyond the canopy Comparative PNA: Power structures Policy change in arenas with complex socio-ecological relations and high trade-offs between development and conservation agendas can entail high political costs (Bumpus and Liverman 2011). Hypothesis: In such circumstances, a mix of conflict and cooperation facilitates policy change and progress 9
  • 10. THINKING beyond the canopy PNA Results Honeymoon phase: Nepal, Tanzania and Cameroon:  Countries in the early stages of national REDD+ policy debates, display dominance of cooperation Bargaining for change: Indonesia, Brazil, PNG:  Power struggles intensify: bargaining (conflictual cooperation) becomes dominant when the national REDD+ policy process starts to address specific policies and measures, particularly on controversial issues such as benefit sharing State driven: Vietnam: dominance of cooperation indicates lack of inclusion, underreporting of conflict (latent) 10
  • 11. THINKING beyond the canopy Comparative media: Results Dominant public discourse: simplistic win-win scenarios (state & international actors)  Avoids debates around drivers of deforestation (legal and illegal logging and conversion of forest to plantation agriculture or other land uses)  Recognizes the need for institutional and governance reforms Transformational Change discourse: environmental justice of domestic NGOs and CSOs:  Recognizes trade-offs between REDD+ & economic development, resource access and livelihoods  Questions power structures supporting drivers of deforestation and degradation (indirectly)11
  • 12. THINKING beyond the canopy Summary  Context matters: Pre-existing institutional change (forestry & CC) facilitates REDD+ design, but either forest pressure needs to be high or effective forest legislation, policy and governance in place  Policy processes factors of national ownership and transformational coalitions crucial: but could only be effective in an enabling institutional setting  Power structures: (symmetric) bargaining (conflictual cooperation) facilitates policy change and progress  Public discourse: limited engagement of state actors with demands of domestic non-state actors, and lack of attention to business sector in areas that drive deforestation and forest degradation 12
  • 13. THINKING beyond the canopy Where do we go from here?  Keep the major drivers of deforestation high on the agenda – no action without awareness • Facilitate REDD+ progress through policy integration and sectoral reforms (forestry, agriculture, economic development – low carbon economy) • Engage actors from sectors driving deforestation and forest degradation in REDD+ policy debates (private sector)  Bring equity back on the agenda both at international and national level • Bring together state and non-state actors around environmental justice issues: tenure, benefit-sharing and safeguards debates (consider possible trade-offs) 13
  • 14. THINKING beyond the canopy Based on: Korhonen-Kurki, K., Sehring, J., Brockhaus, M., Di Gregorio, M. 2014. Enabling factors for establishing REDD+ in a context of weak governance. Climate Policy, 14(2): 167-186. Brockhaus, M., and Di Gregorio, M., Forthcoming. National REDD+ policy networks: From cooperation to conflict. Ecology and Society. Di Gregorio, M., Brockhaus, M., Cronin, T., Muharrom, E., Mardiah, S., Santoso, L. Deadlock or transformational change? Exploring public discourse on REDD+ across seven countries (submitted Global Environmental Politics) Di Gregorio, M. et al. 2013. Equity and REDD+ in the Media: A Comparative Analysis of Policy Discourses. Ecology and Society, 18:2. DOI: 10.5751/ES- 05694-18023 We acknowledge the support from: Norad and the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Norway, , AusAID (Australia), European Commission, DECC& DFID (UK), & all research partners and individuals that have contributed to the GCS research
  • 15. THINKING beyond the canopy Appendix QCA: Outcome Outcome Presence Absence Indicators of presence Evaluation comprehensi ve policies targeting transformatio nal change in the REDD+ domain New institutions, capacity-building established by committed actors They support concrete policy formulation and outputs Policies built on a broad societal consensus for change New institutions and procedures not established or met with resistance REDD+ policy formulation fragmented or undertaken mainly by external actors Business-as-usual approaches dominate media and politics • MRV system developed • Coordination body established • REDD financing used effectively • National strategy in place • Grievance procedures or other mechanisms to enhance accountability in REDD+ systems established Two or more indicators of Presence = 1 Zero or one indicator of Presence = 0 15
  • 16. THINKING beyond the canopy Appendix QCA: Institutional factors Condition Presence Absence Indicators of presence Evaluation Pressure from shortage of forest resources (PRES) PRES Forests are under pressure from high deforestation rate Abundant or recovering forest resources with a low to medium or negative (reforestation) deforestation rate Forest transition stage Deforestation rate FT stage 2 or defor rate> 0.5% =1 FT stage 1, 4, 5 deforestation rate <0.5% = 0 effective forest legislation, policy and governance (EFF) clear legal framework (rights & management regulations) in place Laws partly Implemented minimum enforcement & implementation capacity Tenure and rights unclear/contested unresolved contradictions in formal & customary law inadequate laws & policies, or ineffective Sound legal for. framework Effective implementation & enforcement Capacity-building efforts Compliance with law Awareness and effective use of rights Low corruption Two or more indicators Present = 1 Zero or one indicator Present = 0 Already initiated policy change (CHA) Existing policy strategies on CC, defor., low-carbon development, PES schemes independently from REDD policies No advanced strategies on CC, deforestation or a low=carbon Existing policies insufficient or not implemented at all; no PES schemes Evidence of implementation of policy strategies in related fields (e.g. one or more of the following: NAMA, PES, deforestation, low-carbon development) Present = 1 Absent = 0 16
  • 17. THINKING beyond the canopy Proximate conditions: OWN Condition Presence Absence Indicators of presence Evaluation National ownership (OWN) Pro-REDD+ media statements by gov. National actors dominate p olicy discourse Nat. pol. Inst. engag in REDD+ policy formulation. Donor agendas do not dominate the process. Adequate budget allocation to REDD+. Anti-REDD+ media statements by state actors and/or pro-REDD+ statements by int. actors dominate policy discourse. Policy formulation carried out by foreign actors. Financial incentives Are main reason for REDD+ implementation. There is no budget allocation to REDD+. • Regular pro- REDD+ statements by gov. in media • REDD+ policy formulation led by nat. pol. institutions • Donors have only advisory role in REDD+ All three indicators present = 1 Fewer than three indicators present = 0 17
  • 18. THINKING beyond the canopy Proximate conditions: INCL Condition Presence Absence Indicators of presence Evaluation Inclusiveness of the policy process (INCL) Key stakeholders including civil society, private sector and indigenous people (if applicable) participate or are at least consulted during the REDD+ process. There are formal participation or consultation mechanisms, and the views expressed by stakeholders are considered in REDD+ policy documents. There are no formal mechanisms for participation by or consultation with key stakeholders, civil society, indigenous people and the private sector, or existing mechanisms are not applied. Stakeholders’ views are not represented in REDD+ policy documents. • Key stakeholders (CSOs, private sector) participate In REDD+ process. • participation mechanisms are present. • views from consultations included in REDD+ policy docs. • There is knowledge about REDD+ at the local level. Two or more indicators present, including one of the last two indicators = 1 Zero or one indicator present, or neither of the last two indicators = 0 18
  • 19. THINKING beyond the canopy Proximate conditions: COAL Condition Presence Absence Indicators of presence Evaluation Transformati onal coalitions (COAL) Coalitions of drivers of change exist and have room to maneuver in the political structures and affect the discourse. Policy actors and coalitions calling for transformational change are more prominent in the media than those supporting the status quo. There are no observable coalitions of drivers of change, or those that exist are too marginal to influence policy-making and are not visible in the political discourse on REDD+. Media and policy circles are dominated by coalitions supporting the status quo. • some degree of coalition building among actors supporting REDD+ • Drivers of change inside and outside government institutions. • coalitions for change more prominent than status quo coalitions • Pro-REDD+ actors good access to decision-makers Two or more indicators present, including the first indicator = 1 Zero or one indicator present or first indicator absent = 0 19