Institutional dimensions of the developing REDD+ process in Cameroon uri icon

abstract

  • The reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) initiative has emerged in recent years as a mechanism to simultaneously address climate change, biodiversity, and poverty reduction challenges at the margins of tropical forests. Congo Basin countries, including Cameroon, have embraced the opportunities that REDD+ provides, with great expectations. Yet, it needs to be investigated whether the enabling institutional environment, which is required for implementing REDD+, is present. Understanding is still limited on how to build adequate and strong institutional relations that could shape the reforms towards the establishment of efficient emissions reductions schemes. Furthermore, uncertainty remains on the operational mechanisms of REDD+, suggesting that, to catalyse effectiveness, there is a need to come up with a governance model nested in relevant policy frameworks. This study builds on a modified '4Is' framework - Institutions, Interests, Ideas and Information - to analyse REDD+ and explore stakeholders' perceptions on the local forest governance potential. A structural implementation model to optimize the effectiveness of REDD+ is developed. Findings suggest that governments need to review existing policies to take into account participation, local people rights, and information access as a way to stimulate actors' willingness to contribute to emissions reductions and carbon stock increases under REDD+ regimes.
  • The reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) initiative has emerged in recent years as a mechanism to simultaneously address climate change, biodiversity, and poverty reduction challenges at the margins of tropical forests. Congo Basin countries, including Cameroon, have embraced the opportunities that REDD+ provides, with great expectations. Yet, it needs to be investigated whether the enabling institutional environment, which is required for implementing REDD+, is present. Understanding is still limited on how to build adequate and strong institutional relations that could shape the reforms towards the establishment of efficient emissions reductions schemes. Furthermore, uncertainty remains on the operational mechanisms of REDD+, suggesting that, to catalyse effectiveness, there is a need to come up with a governance model nested in relevant policy frameworks. This study builds on a modified'4Is' framework - Institutions, Interests, Ideas and Information - to analyse REDD+ and explore stakeholders' perceptions on the local forest governance potential. A structural implementation model to optimize the effectiveness of REDD+ is developed. Findings suggest that governments need to review existing policies to take into account participation, local people rights, and information access as a way to stimulate actors' willingness to contribute to emissions reductions and carbon stock increases under REDD+ regimes.Policy relevance Currently, there is no agreed framework for REDD+ in Cameroon, despite the potential role its humid forests could have to mitigate climate change at national and global levels. Furthermore, there are no initiatives that have fully mapped the boundary institutions to be engaged in REDD+ processes at the landscape level, although there is high commitment of various stakeholders to influence policies towards the implementation of the mechanism itself. For example, forestry companies, local communities, and conservation institutions would like to get involved. Findings indicate that there is potential for a cross-sectoral change and provide guidance as to how the uncertainties and risks, which may undermine the effective participation of stakeholders in the REDD+ processes at local and national levels, might be tackled. The schematic model and analytical frameworks suggested should prove very important to bridge various discourses among diverse actors. The end result is anticipated to be a governance structure for CO2 emissions reductions through changes in land-use practices

publication date

  • 2014
  • 2014
  • 2014