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Reform or reversal: the impact of REDD+ readiness on forest governance in Indonesia

Putra Agung, Gamma Galudra, Meine Van Noordwijk and Retno Maryani

Climate Policy, 2014, vol. 14, issue 6, 748-768

Abstract: Indonesia has turned its alleged role as global leader of land-based carbon emissions into a role as a global trailblazer exploring modalities for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). REDD+ readiness is largely about improving forest governance, but this itself is a multilayered concept. This article analyses how the processes and practices of REDD+ readiness are leading to various forest governance reforms in Indonesia. We analysed six dimensions of REDD+ readiness progress over the past six years and the way these interact with land tenure reform and land-use planning. We found evidence that (1) tenure issues are taken more seriously, as evidenced by the development of social safeguard mechanisms and efforts to accelerate the gazettement of forest boundaries, although a constitutional court recognition in 2013 for customary forest management is, however, yet to be operationalized; (2) spatial planning relates forests more clearly to other parts of the landscape in terms of compliance with Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) commitments; and (3) the forest and peatland conversion moratorium initiative led to a revamping of forest management. Despite progress, there are still major obstacles to full REDD+ implementation in Indonesia. The discussion focuses on the weaker part of readiness and possible ways forward.

Date: 2014
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DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2014.941317

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