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REDD+ in Central Africa: an overview of opportunities and challenges for transferring policy


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This presentation by S. Assembe-Mvondo, R. Eba’a Atyi and M. Brockhaus focuses on the applied policy transfer theory to the REDD+ regime, the REDD+ regime in context with the Congo Basin forests and how the REDD+ regime is transferring in Central Africa countries.

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REDD+ in Central Africa: an overview of opportunities and challenges for transferring policy

  1. 1. REDD+ in Central Africa: an overview of opportunities and challenges for transferring policy S. Assembe-Mvondo, R. Eba’a Atyi & M. Brockhaus
  2. 2. THINKING beyond the canopy Outline  GCS Study  Transformational change and the 4Is – institutions, interests, ideas, information – what enables or hinders change?  Policy research transfer framework – why useful for looking at the COMIFAC?  Constraints for change –enabling or hindering policies?  Conclusions
  3. 3. THINKING beyond the canopy FORAFAMA and CIFOR’s Global Comparative Study (GCS-REDD+) • To support REDD+ policy arenas and practitioner communities with - information - analysis - tools • so as to ensure 3E+ outcomes: - effectiveness - efficiency - equity and co-benefits
  4. 4. Analysis of national REDD+ policies and processes in 14 countries since 2009 study-on-redd.html
  5. 5. THINKING beyond the canopy Background and challenges in national REDD+ since 2005 Among others ...  Coordination across sectors and administrative levels (in decentralized systems)  Tenure, financing systems, benefit sharing and participation  MRV systems and capacity  Scope, scale, permanence, leakage  Sovereignty and ownership over process and reform(s)  Capacity and political will to address the drivers of forest carbon change (driven oftentimes by interests of powerful elites) and identifying an effective policy mix  how to realize policy change in and beyond the forestry sector?
  6. 6. THINKING beyond the canopy Transformational change versus business-as-usual Transformational change: ‘a shift in discourse, attitudes, power relations, and deliberate policy and protest action that leads policy formulation and implementation away from business as usual policy approaches that directly or indirectly support deforestation and forest degradation’ (Brockhaus and Angelsen, 2012; Di Gregorio et al, 2012 in ‘Analysing REDD+’)
  7. 7. Examples of transformational change In the context of REDD+, transformational outcomes can be i) changes in economic, regulatory and governance frameworks, including the devolution of rights to local users; ii) removals of perverse incentives, such as subsidies and concessions that serve selective economic interests and stimulate deforestation and forest degradation; and iii) reforms of forest industry policies and regulations that effectively reduce unsustainable extraction
  8. 8. THINKING beyond the canopy Seeing REDD+ through 4I’s: institutions, interests, ideas, information (Brockhaus and Angelsen 2012)
  9. 9. How do the 4 Is hinder or enable change (1)  Institutions: Formal power typically rests with the ‘stickiest’ organisations – those with enough influence to resist change – while new institutions and actors are ignored or remain isolated (e.g. colonial rules, Ministries responsible for natural resources)  Interests: State’s interest in social and economic welfare can fall short if lack of autonomy from interests that drive deforestation and degradation (e.g. rent seeking, fraud, collusion and corruption practices inside the bureaucratic system)
  10. 10. How do the 4 Is hinder or enable change (2)  Ideas: discourse affects policy making, they frame the problem and present a limited set of choices of what is ‘reasonable’ or what is put forward as ‘the possible’ (e.g. REDD+ benefits for those who contribute to efficiency and effectiveness, versus benefits for those who have moral rights based on equity considerations)  Information: Facts, rather than speaking for themselves, are selected, interpreted, and put in context in ways that reflect the interests of the information provider (e.g. reference level setting)
  11. 11. THINKING beyond the canopy Seeing REDD+ through 4I’s: institutions, interests, ideas, information (Brockhaus and Angelsen 2012)
  12. 12. Applying policy transfer theory to REDD+ regime  Dolowitz (2009): “Policy transfer is the process by which the ideas..policies…and practices.. in one political system are fed into (and used) in the policy- making arena of another political system”  many reasons for more and more policies transfer processes: - globalization pressures; - rapid growth of communication means; - international organizations advocate similar policies across their member countries;
  13. 13. Applying policy transfer theory to REDD+ regime (2) Research question: how will the international REDD+ regime impact national policies and practices in Central Africa? Policy transfer process as framework :  (Dolowitz & Marsh (2000)): • who is involved? • Why policy transfer? • What is transferred? • From where? • What are degrees of transfer? • What are the constraints on transfer?..etc.
  14. 14. REDD+ regime and Congo Basin forests  Central Africa countries are part of vast ecological complex of the Congo Basin ecosystems, with their rich flora and wildlife. However, these forests are vulnerable to several threats, numerous drivers of deforestation and degradation  In the framework of COMIFAC, many political measures have been taken, notably common position on REDD+ process  International emerging REDD+ regime is articulate on: goals, content, instruments, institutions, ideology, programs and activities
  15. 15. REDD+ policy transfer in Central Africa countries?  Who is involved in the REDD+ transfer processes: classical policy transfer agents, notably elected officials (MPs and mayors); Civil servants (mainly from environment and forest ministries); Pressure groups (green and human rights NGOs and networks); Policy entrepreneurs (Conservation INGOs, consultancy firms, projects and research institutes); International organizations & cooperation (UNREDD, World Bank, African Development Bank, Norway..etc);  What is transferred: Core elements of REDD+ policy, notably goal (Increased carbon stock), content, instruments (REDD+ decrees, R-PP); REDD+ institutions (national task force or coordination); REDD+ programs (REDD+ national strategy, Investment plan); REDD+ ideologies and information; REDD+ activities ..etc;
  16. 16. REDD+ policy transfer in Central Africa countries?  Why REDD+ regime transfer? Mitigation needs, incentives based, countries at different stages enables also learning, the idea of a global carbon market ‘cake’??  Transfer typology of REDD+? In Central Africa, there are three types of REDD+ transfer:  transfer driven by international donors: DRC, Cameroon, Congo, CAR ;  transfer driven by national interests (voluntary): Burundi, Chad, Rwanda, Sao Tome;  ambiguous position characterized by no political commitment of the country and involvement of REDD+ activities: Gabon and Equatorial Guinea (MRV systems);
  17. 17. THINKING beyond the canopy Constraints of REDD+ transfer in Central Africa  Burning issue of state of democratic governance in Central Africa region: according Mo Ibrahim African Governance index (2013), Sao Tome (11th), Rwanda (15th), Gabon (24th), Cameroon (35th), Burundi(40th), Congo(43), Guinea(45th), Chad(48th), CAR (49th), DRC (51)  Risk of REDD+ failure with these governance trends;  Macroeconomic plans, policies and measures adopted by each countries based on the valorization of natural resources: Gabon 2025; Congo 2025, Guinea 2020; DRC 2030, Cameroon 2035..etc  REDD+ policy is competing with these objectives
  18. 18. THINKING beyond the canopy *: source: The Economist 2011. Democracy Index 2011:democracy under stress. A report from the Economist Intelligence Unit. High indexes refer to democracies and low indexes to authoritarian regimes. Sources: May et al. 2011; Dkamela 2011; Indrarto et al. 2012; Pham et al. 2012; CEDLA and CIFOR 2013; Forest Action and CIFOR 2013; DAR and CIFOR 2013) Key policy challenges and regime types (selected countries) Source: Di Gregorio, M., Brockhaus, M., Cronin, T., Muharrom, E. June 2012. Politics and power in national REDD+ policy processes. In Analysing REDD+: Challenges and choices, 69-90. CIFOR, Bogor, Indonesia. ) Country Drivers of deforestation and forest degradation Policies that clash whith REDD+ aims Policies that support REDD+ Lack of autonomy / possible capture by special interests Democrac y category score (index )* Level of centraliz ation Indonesia Agriculture (large scale incl. forest plantations as oil palm, small scale & subsistence), logging, mining Pulp and paper; mining permits in protected areas; fiscal and non- fiscal concessions for food estate and energy estate development; biofuel development; land allocation for oil palm plantations; MP3IA Moratorium on Granting of New Licenses and Improvement of Natural Primary Forest and Peatland Governance (although considered a ‘weak’ policy due to the influence of business on government) Medium-High (pressure from large scale plantations and logging, pulp and paper, mining and electoral campaigns) Flawed democracy (6.53) Decentral ised with tensions Brazil Agriculture (large- and small-scale ranching, commodity crops) , infrastructure, selective logging, mining, fire Rural credit for cattle ranching / infrastructure development (roads and dams); land tenure rules favouring land grabbing; Forest Code Forest Code conservation requirement on private land, improved enforcement of land- use policies (incl. protected areas), economic & ecological zoning, efforts to certify producer legality commercial chains (beef, soy), land regularization process, real- time monitoring of deforestation. Medium-high (land speculation, illegal logging, cattle ranching, tax evasion, drug trafficking, patron-client relationships and electoral campaigns) Flawed democracy (7.12) Federal system Cameroon Agriculture (medium- and small-scale, subsistence); logging; mining Devaluations boosting logging exports; infrastructure (roads, rails and dams); mining and large-scale agriculture projects Law No 2011/08 on Guidelines for Territorial Planning and Sustainable Development in Cameroon High in the logging sector (corruption driving illegal logging includes national and local elite) Authoritarian (3.41) Decentral ised but with limits
  19. 19. Consequently….  macroeconomic programs (reflected in ideas and institutional stickiness)  REDD+ limited impacts in domestic economy  However, the ideology/ideas behind REDD+ could probably lead to changes: a) At strategic level: [ideas, incentives, coordination] by contributing to the sectorial policies reforms: Land use master plan; forest, mining, land tenure, energy, agricultural policies etc. b) At operational level: [information, incentives, interests] forest management plans; carbon stock inventories; high value carbon area; MRV and socio-environmental safeguards  Need to review existing policies and measures and focus on drivers of deforestation and degradation