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“Put the buzzwords deforestation, degradation, indigenous people and local communities, stakeholder process and carbon inventory in the terms of reference of your next forests based project and you can classify this project as a REDD+ project!”

It’s amazing to watch the growing number of so called “REDD” projects in the global queue of forest(ry) projects.  One couldn’t believe what all those environmental NGO’s, social NGO’s, research institutes, development organizations, investment banks and power companies, to name just a view, must have missed the last years, when not taking care of deforestation and degradation of mother earths rainforests…


To combat the leakage problem is key

Every environmental organization which is not having at least three to ten “REDD+” projects on its recent agenda is going to be blamed as a flat-earther.
So, what’s all about these so called “REDD+” projects?
Firstly one has to understand the most important principle of REDD+ which makes REDD+ generally reliable and accepted by the global public: it is the holistic approach of REDD+ to combat the leakage problem. A lot of ideas have been developed in the past to fight deforestation and forest degradation. But all of them did not target one of the core problems of any avoided deforestation action: how to impede any new deforestation at another region as a reaction when having stopped deforestation at the target region? This is called the leakage problem.

All those people having been involved in thinking about combating deforestation have been aware of this leakage problem and saw just one chance to solve it: all areas, which could be draw aside target areas must be involved in a program to combat deforestation.
Which led ultimately to REDD+. The smallest unit of any REDD+ programme is the total territory of a country. Furthermore, as REDD+ will be a substantial part of the next global climate treaty, all those countries which are potential targets of deforestation and forest degradation, will be included in this global climate treaty. This is the only effective chance to target the leakage problem.


Any REDD+ project must be an integrated part of a national REDD+ programme

Any REDD+ activity (or project) must be an integrated part of a greater whole, which is the REDD+ programme of a country.
Knowing this, one can clearly see that any REDD+ activity has to start at the governmental level of a country. Developing a REDD+ programme for a country is a clear top down approach. Starting at governmental level a generic REDD+ readiness plans has to be developed. This plan includes all valid and important parts of proper land use planning, reorganization or adaptation of public administration, fixing land tenure rights, policy development and law adjustments, establishment of financing structures, all kinds of capacity building at national, regional and local levels and land inventory activities (including forest carbon inventory).

Once having ready the plan (which is not a simple task) it comes to REDD+ implementation by defining and executing REDD+ projects (which are controlled and monitored by the national REDD+ programme office).

Currently (as of July 2010) there is just nine countries which have more or less completed their national REDD+ programmes.

So what’s about those dozens of “REDD” projects not being placed in one of those nine countries mentioned at the UN-REDD website?

Of course there can be some REDD+ projects outside these countries – but seriously these project have to deal with the preparing of REDD+ readiness plans for governments.


REDD+ here, REDD+ there, REDD+ everywhere...

All those projects, being mentioned to be a “REDD” project but just targeting common forest conservation or biodiversity by not being part of an accredited national REDD+ programme are using misleading labeling. Even when targeting forest carbon inventory and stakeholder processes with indigenous people and local communities…

Want to read the description of a real REDD+ project/programme? Then continue to read here...


All that glistens is not REDD+


Blog | by Dr. Radut