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Transforming REDD+ Lessons and new direction - at COP24

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Presented by Arild Angelsen of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) at the "GLF Climate Action in the Landscape" at COP24, Katowice, Poland (9 Dec 2018)

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Transforming REDD+ Lessons and new direction - at COP24

  1. 1. Transforming REDD+ Lessons and new direction CLF @ COP 24, 9. December 2018, Katowice, Poland 1 Arild Angelsen Professor, School of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Ås, Norway & Senior Associate, CIFOR , Bogor, Indonesia arild.angelsen@nmbu.no
  2. 2. • 10 years of CGS-REDD+ research • CIFOR and partners • Almost 500 publications 2008 2009 2012 2018
  3. 3. Our approach: Constructive critique A critical, evidence-based analysis of REDD+ implementation …. without losing sight of the urgent need to reduce forest-based emissions to prevent catastrophic climate change REDD+ objective vs. framework (1) the objective of reducing emissions and increasing removals from forests in developing countries (2) an umbrella term for actions at all levels, aimed at forest-based mitigation, or a more narrow definition: (i) only activities relying on results-based payments (PES) (ii) only mechanisms within the UNFCCC framework
  4. 4. Transforming REDD+ to be transformational • A new global climate change architecture • Paris: NDCs take centre stage • Domestic and aid funding dominate • Perhaps carbon markets in the future • A changing global political climate • Strong warnings from IPCC • But, climate deniers in high offices • Increasing gap between political will and climate necessity • An evolving REDD+ • Lessons learned • Expectations management
  5. 5. Book overview 1. Building blocks, including finance 2. National politics and coordination problems 3. Assessing impacts 4. Evolving initiatives • Explaining (s)low progress
  6. 6. Summarising REDD+: 1. FINANCE AND BUILDING BLOCKS • International funding (public & private) remains scarce, and demand through carbon markets is lacking • USD 1.1 – 2.7 billion/year in international REDD+ funding • Much cost covering by REDD+ governments and communities not counted • Results-based payment, REDD+’s key feature, largely untested at scale • Funding • Complex • Anecdotal evidence on the impacts of REDD+ finance on national policies
  7. 7. … summarising: 2. POSITIVE INTERMEDIATE OUTPUTS & OUTCOMES • REDD+ helped forests gain prominence on the international and some national policy agendas • 50+ countries put REDD+ in NDCs and have national REDD+ strategies, but major coordination and implementation issues remain • National REDD+ initiatives improved countries’ monitoring capacities and understanding of drivers • Increased stakeholder involvement, and platforms to secure indigenous and community land rights • Jurisdictional approaches, covering 28% of tropical forests • 350 REDD+ projects, covering 43 million ha
  8. 8. …. summarising: 3. MODEST IMPACTS • National REDD+ policies • most show some statistically significant reductions, but small effect size • Local REDD+ initiatives • modest but positive outcomes for forests • Well-being impacts limited and mixed • more likely positive when incentive components are included • Similar to the micro-macro paradox of development aid • crowding out, leakage, too small
  9. 9. How can REDD+ become more effective? 1. Big and bold initiatives needed • International finance nudges …. • … but domestic incentives decide • Redesigning economics incentives for a triple win: • conserve forests • increase economic efficiency • improve government budget balance • Examples • Brazil’s drastic deforestation reduction post-2004 • India’s ecological fiscal transfers (USD 7-12 billion annually) • Ethiopia restoration plans • How can avoid project-ification, and make REDD+ support these reforms?
  10. 10. How can REDD+ become more effective? 2. A positive, exciting narrative on forests • The iron law of climate policy: • If a conflict climate – economic development, climate loses • Make forests part of a green/sustainable economic development strategy • Examples: • 1/5 of local income from forests (PEN study) • Forests as bio-pumps and ‘aerial rivers’
  11. 11. How can REDD+ become more effective? 3. Be brave and assess impacts • Few studies • Impact assessment is not story-telling by donors, proponents or beneficiaries • … but a set of rigorous approaches; the main problem being to estimate the counterfactual • Impact Assessment is not an afterthought; design and collect data from day 1 • Risky for proponents: no control of the verdict • We simply need to know more about what works and what doesn’t
  12. 12. Why not more impact assessments? 3 hypotheses H1: LOW (PERCEIVED) BENEFITS • Proponents with strong faith in own approach & success • “One can easily see if it works or not” H2: HIGH COSTS AND COMPLEX • Data collection: baselines, controls • Hire experts • Randomisation of treatments ethically problematic H3: HIGH RISKS • No control of the verdict • Negative assessment may jeopardize future funding
  13. 13. 10 years of REDD+, what have we learned? • Not as much as hoped • Confirmation bias; are we afraid of learning? • Made good progress on the intermediate outcomes • They are important, and a key foundation to build on • Addressing the underlying drivers and fundamental economic incentives is next • A political question (conflicting interests), and political solution

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