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REDD

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During the 2010s governments and companies set unprecedented commitments to curb deforestation, but have fallen short. As the 2020s begin, here's what has changed for forests and what to look for in an uncertain new era.

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This issue brief is based on a 2018 working paper and summarizes the REDD+ experience over the past decade, taking stock of lessons learned from REDD+ implementation to inform future forest-based climate mitigation activities.

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Indonesia is one of few tropical nations actually decreasing deforestation. As a result, the country will earn its first payment as part of the UN's REDD+, a program where developed nations pay developing ones to reduce emissions by protecting forests.

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Although the novel feature of REDD+— result-based payments at jurisdictional scales—remains largely untested, national and subnational REDD+ initiatives have made progress toward creating domestic conditions for addressing deforestation and forest degradation. This paper analyzes both national and subnational REDD+ initiatives to better understand lessons learned and how these lessons can support future forest-based climate change mitigation.

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This paper presents practical ideas for REDD+ countries to consider as they implement activities that establish or strengthen accountability mechanisms. It presents a general framework for evaluating the institutions, standards, and oversight mechanisms that most countries are developing as part of their REDD+ processes.

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As the struggle continues to protect forests around the world, REDD+ implementers should look to cultivate and strengthen institutions and mechanisms of accountability.

Though REDD+ includes an international accountability mechanism, case studies in Brazil and Indonesia, where civil society participated in and challenged land-use decisions, demonstrate that this will probably be insufficient for achieving REDD+ goals.

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The world’s forests and the people who depend on them face a host of challenges—including deforestation, rural poverty, and degradation of critical ecosystem services. These negative outcomes are often exacerbated by weak forest governance, including low levels of transparency and participation in forest decision-making and as well as poor oversight of forest activities. To tackle these issues, decision-makers need better information about the institutional, political, and social factors that drive governance failures.

An updated tool from WRI’s Governance of Forests Initiative aims to help policy-makers, civil society organizations, and other forest stakeholders evaluate governance of their countries’ forests. Assessing Forest Governance: The Governance of Forests Initiative Indicator Framework updates the original GFI indicators, which were published in 2009 and piloted by WRI’s civil society partners in Brazil, Cameroon, and Indonesia. Using the indicators, stakeholders can identify strengths and weaknesses in forest governance and develop reforms that benefit both people and planet.

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Developed country governments have repeatedly commit¬ted to provide new and additional finance to help developing countries transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient growth.

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In January 2013, the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility approved USD $3.6M to fund Cameroon’s Readiness Preparation Proposal—a roadmap detailing how Cameroon will develop a national REDD+ strategy to help protect its forests. Cameroon, like many other REDD+ countries, now faces the challenge of delivering on commitments made in its Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP). Doing so will require significant efforts to address historical forest sector challenges, including weak governance. I recently participated in the National Dialogue on REDD+ Governance in Yaoundé, Cameroon, where these challenges were at the top of the agenda. The Dialogue, co-sponsored by Bioresources Development and Conservation Programme-Cameroon (BDCPC), Cameroon Ecology, the Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection, and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED), and WRI’s Governance of Forests Initiative (GFI), provided a forum for government and civil society members to talk frankly about strengthening governance as part of Cameroon’s REDD+ program.

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