Video: REDD explanations
On April 21th, 2010 a public debate on Forestry, Climate Change, and Poverty will take place at Litteraturhuset, Oslo. With the title of “Can Saving Trees Save the Planet?” the debate was organized and hosted by Center for Environment and Development (SUM), University of Oslo and it is part of the Norwegian government incentives to REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) development.
Prof. Virgilio Viana, one of the international speaker of this debate, wasn´t able to make it due to the vulcanic erruption in Iceland. For that reason the following video is available for the same purpose of the debate, to provide the viewers with an opportunity to engage in an informal discussion on REDD. The video, addresses 4 questions posed by the organizers:
1) The idea behind the REDD + initiative is that under an international climate change agreement, poor nations are going to be paid by rich nations to protect their forest and the carbon locked up in them. Although the idea of REDD+ is new, the notion of rich countries influencing how poor countries manage, conserve or exploit their resources is not.
Question: What can be learnt from past experience, for example related to protected areas or reforestation projects, to make REDD a success?
2) Many argue that REDD is a form of PES (payment for ecosystem services) at a larger scale. Countries like Mexico and Costa Rica have been experimenting with PES programmes for many years, but evaluations of the effectiveness of these programmes are mixed. Some say that positive results are driven by the fact that many PES programs were implemented in forest areas that had not yet experienced significant deforestation.
Question: So how should we evaluate if REDD is working? How can we be sure that the areas that remain forested would not have done so even without paying for avoided deforestation?
3) Research in Mexico suggests that variations in the performance of PES programmes in different forest areas is explained by the varying effectiveness of community governance. Some communities have ceased logging and they are even patrolling their forests to keep the trees safe. In other cases the community itself is split and the faction that did not agree with the decision to participate in PES program logged the forest anyway.
Question: Should efforts to strengthen local institutions be part of REDD? And if so, how could this be implemented? How can “good local governance” be verified and by whom?
4) Participation is an important element of sustainability, relevance and empowerment; and participation is a buzzword in development practice. The Accra Cuacus (a coalition of more than 100 NGOs) has demanded that “implementation of REDD, at both national and project levels, should obtain free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) from Indigenous Peoples and local communities if using their territories, and provide enabling environments for their meaningful participation at all levels.” But experience has shown that achieving such an aim can be extremely difficult.
Question: How should participation be understood in the context of REDD+? Is it possible to design a global policy framework for REDD that safeguards the interests of local forest communities?