Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+): game changer or just another quick fix?
Article first published online: 14 DEC 2011
© 2012 New York Academy of Sciences
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume 1249, The Year in Ecology and Conservation Biology pages 137–150, February 2012
How to Cite
Venter, O. and Koh, L. P. (2012), Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+): game changer or just another quick fix?. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1249: 137–150. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2011.06306.x
- Issue published online: 24 FEB 2012
- Article first published online: 14 DEC 2011
- carbon payment scheme;
- biodiversity conservation;
- climate change;
- tropical deforestation
Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) provides financial compensation to land owners who avoid converting standing forests to other land uses. In this paper, we review the main opportunities and challenges for REDD+ implementation, including expectations for REDD+ to deliver on multiple environmental and societal cobenefits. We also highlight a recent case study, the Norway–Indonesia REDD+ agreement and discuss how it might be a harbinger of outcomes in other forest-rich nations seeking REDD+ funds. Looking forward, we critically examine the fundamental assumptions of REDD+ as a solution for the atmospheric buildup of greenhouse gas emissions and tropical deforestation. We conclude that REDD+ is currently the most promising mechanism driving the conservation of tropical forests. Yet, to emerge as a true game changer, REDD+ must still demonstrate that it can access low transaction cost and high-volume carbon markets or funds, while also providing or complimenting a suite of nonmonetary incentives to encourage a developing nation's transition from forest losing to forest gaining, and align with, not undermine, a globally cohesive attempt to mitigate anthropogenic climate change.