REDD+ Readiness progress across countries: time for reconsideration
Peter Akong Minang,
Meine Van Noordwijk,
Lalisa A Duguma,
Trong Hoan Do,
Claudia Silva Aguad,
Sara Namirembe and
Climate Policy, 2014, vol. 14, issue 6, 685-708
Efforts towards Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation plus conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+) have grown in importance in developing countries following negotiations within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This has favoured investments in processes to prepare countries for REDD+ at the national level (a process referred to as REDD+ Readiness). Yet, little attention has been given to how Readiness can be assessed and potentially improved. This article presents a framework for Readiness assessment and compares progress in REDD+ Readiness across four countries, namely Cameroon, Indonesia, Peru, and Vietnam. The Readiness assessment framework comprises six functions, namely planning and coordination; policy, laws, and institutions; measurement, reporting, verification (MRV), and audits; benefit sharing; financing; and demonstrations and pilots. We found the framework credible and consistent in measuring progress and eliciting insight into Readiness processes at the country level. Country performance for various functions was mixed. Progress was evident on planning and coordination, and demonstration and pilots. However, MRV and audits; financing; benefit sharing; and policies, laws and institutions face major challenges. The results suggest that the way national forest governance has been shaped by historical circumstances (showing path dependency) is a critical factor for progress in Readiness processes. There is need for a rethink of the current REDD+ Readiness infrastructure given the serious gaps observed in addressing drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, linking REDD+ to broader national strategies and systematic capacity building.
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