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Equity and REDD+: Perspectives from CIFOR’s global comparative study


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This presentation was delivered by Maria Brockhaus at Lake Inle, Myanmar, in June 2015.

It details: the opportunities and risks for equity and REDD+; the need for transformational change from the 4 I perspective (institutional stickiness, ideas, interests and information); and case study examples.

Published in: Environment
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Equity and REDD+: Perspectives from CIFOR’s global comparative study

  1. 1. Equity and REDD+ Maria Brockhaus, Grace Wong, Cecilia Luttrell and Arild Angelsen Myanmar, Lake Inle, 1-3 June 2015
  2. 2. Outline • Equity and REDD+: opportunities and risks • The need for transformational change: a 4 I framework • Case study examples: risks in governance for equitable (effective, efficient) REDD+ • Conclusion
  3. 3. REDD+ as a (good) idea, beside being quick, cheap, easy ? Equity —e.g. in terms of both distribution of costs and benefits and equal participation in decision making—is essential for ensuring both the legitimacy and effectiveness of REDD+ (Chhatre et al. 2012, McDermott et al. 2012) • globally : turning tables, countries are no longer receivers of aid but providers of a globally needed service; safeguards • nationally: incentives for policy mix supporting conservation PAMs, tenure reforms, other lager policy reforms • locally: benefits for forest stewards (PES), cash and co- benefits
  4. 4. Towards equity through transformational change? REDD+ especially with inclusion of safeguards, seemed to be very promising in terms of achieving transformational change through  shifts in incentives,  discursive practices,  power relations in the REDD+ policy arena
  5. 5. Concerns and risks related to REDD+ • incentive to push out holders of informal rights , IPs rights • carbonization and monetarization of nature Some concerns expressed in discourses: “cheap excuse” for the off- setters, who want to pay for their sins without changing : “payment for indulgence”  ‘the real’ profits for private investors, carbon cowboys ‘recentralization’ of forests and benefits not for communities but for the state and its administration
  6. 6. Equity and REDD+ in the Media How is equity framed in media representations of national REDD+ policy debates in Indonesia, Brazil, Vietnam and Peru? • 3 major newspapers from 2005 to 2010: articles with substantive focus on REDD+ • 3 levels of coding: article, media frame; policy actors associated with frame
  7. 7. Risks related to discourses • National state actors engage mainly with global equity issues (except Vietnam); civil society with domestic equity issues; • In all 4 countries the most discussed equity issue is benefit- sharing (state); followed by non-state actors concerns about livelihood impacts, tenure/indigenous rights and participation. Almost no discussion on gender equity. Need for state actors to address domestic equity issues (connect to rights-based demands of civil society)
  8. 8. Discourses on ‘who should benefit’? (Luttrell et al. 2013) Different discourses which different implications for design of BSMs  But there are trade-offs: Effectiveness/efficiency vs. equity discourses  Effectiveness/efficiency = goal of emission reductions; Equity = who has the right to benefit – rationale I: benefits should go to actors with legal rights related to carbon emission reductions ("legal rights" rationale) – rationale II: benefits should go to those who reduce emissions ("emission reductions" rationale) – rationale III: benefits should go to forest stewards ("stewardship" rationale) – rationale IV: actors incurring costs should be compensated ("cost-compensation" rationale) – rationale V: benefits should go to effective facilitators of implementation ("facilitation" rationale) – rationale VI: benefits should go to the poor ("pro-poor" rationale)
  9. 9. Risks when unclear who should benefit .. (Contextual, procedural and distributional equity) Lack of clarity on objectives hampers to define who ‘should‘ benefit Legitimacy of the decision needs the decision to be made by those with: • Legal mandate to make them • Adherence to due process & to procedural rights
  10. 10. Risks related to unclear tenure, financial procedures, elite capture (Contextual, procedural and distributional equity) Example Cameroon (Assembe et al 2013 and 2014): Cameroon has two main mechanisms of benefit- sharing, 1) a decentralized forestry taxation system; and 2) land fees. In both risks are clearly related to • institutional path dependencies (e.g. colonial rules) in the process of establishing land tenure, • the top-down approach to establishing a governance system for the distribution of forest fees, • and a lack of transparency in the fee-distribution process (Assembe-Mvondo et al. 2013, 2014)
  11. 11. Risks related to representation - Procedural equity in implementing • decision-making and discussions on REDD+ in general and benefit sharing in particular are dominated by selected powerful actors (Brockhaus et al 2014) Example Vietnam (Pham et al 2014): - dominant role of government agencies in REDD+ policy-making, limited political space for non-state actors (e.g., NGOs, CSOs) to exert an influence on the final policy outputs
  12. 12. What hinders translating lessons and realizing transformational change for equity into policy/practice? Seeing REDD+ through 4 Is: institutional stickiness, ideas, interests, information: - Discursive shifts? New agency, but rhetorics of powerful are still BAU - Shifts in incentives? Yes, incentives, but legitimacy of those that make decisions about it leads to/ reinforces existing patterns of rent seeking ? - Shifts in power relations ? Turning tables – not yet, aidification of REDD+, and in international and national REDD+ policy arenas BAU remains dominant across levels
  13. 13. Country Profiles Media-based discourse analyses Info Briefs Working Papers Journal Articles Global comparative analysis of policies and processes
  14. 14. We acknowledge the support from: NORAD, Australian Aid, UKAID, EC, USAID and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation & all research partners and individuals that have contributed to the GCS research Thanks For more information