Finding a path for REDD+ between ODA and the CDM
A new financing mechanism known as REDD+ ((reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks) is being established to achieve large-scale reductions in GHG emissions from tropical forestry and land use. Can REDD+ successfully integrate an emphasis on sustainable development benefits (as with Official Development Assistance, ODA) with a focus on delivering emission reductions (as with the
... s (as with the Clean Development Mechanism, CDM)? It is argued that there is a real risk that REDD+ will stay too close to ODA and fail to move beyond its 'readiness' phase. Moreover, as with the CDM, there could be an over-emphasis on results in terms of emission reductions, which would only make it attractive for a small set of activities in relatively few countries. In order to balance sustainable development with cost-effective emission reductions, REDD+ needs to involve the private sector in project implementation and financing, its rules for reference levels and crediting arrangements need to be flexible, and forest countries need to proactively direct activities. Policy relevance REDD+ has the potential to deliver funding at unprecedented scale for forestry and land use activities in developing countries. However, this will only occur if the mechanism can successfully transition from its current readiness phase (which is similar to ODA) to a results-based REDD+ (which implies similarities with the CDM). A framework for analysing the attractiveness of results-based REDD+ for both forest and funder countries is provided. It is argued that the interests of forest and funder countries coincide in activities that score well with respect to financing and cofunding requirements, socio-economic impacts, and governance implications, within the context of each forest country's policy environment and capabilities. An early case study of a results-based REDD+ transaction, the Indonesian logging moratorium, suggests this conceptual framework provides an effective decision support tool to help design future REDD+ policy interventions to avoid the various pitfalls of ODA and the CDM.