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Governance for REDD+, forest management and biodiversity
Existing approaches and future optionsInternational Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO)Vienna, Austria
The chapter examines the evolution of REDD+ governance and identifies policy options toincrease synergies among REDD+, the sustainable management of forests and biodiversity conservation.REDD+ emerged at the international level as a point of convergence across the ‘institutional complexes’ offorests, climate and biodiversity. This convergence attracted the engagement of a wide range of institutionsin REDD+ activities, which together have drawn on three primary sources of authority to influence REDD+rule-making: government sovereignty, contingent finance and voluntary carbon markets.Intergovernmental processes, which represent the primary articulation of governmental authority at the global level, have generated few binding commitments to the sustainable management of forests or biodiversity due to conflicting country interests. These efforts instead have favoured normative guidance, monitoringand reporting, and legality verification initiatives that reinforce sovereign authority. Bilateral and multi-lateral finance initiatives have exerted ‘fund-based’ authority through the application of operational safeguards protecting indigenous and local communities and biodiversity, but limited funding and low capacity of REDD+countries to absorb those funds have constrained their influence. Finally, non-state actors have developed voluntary certification schemes for forest and carbon as a ’fast track’ approach to elaborating more substantive international standards for environmentally- and socially-responsible forest practices. While the small sizeand voluntary nature of markets for forest carbon have greatly constrained the impact of these approaches, this could change if a significant regulatory market for REDD+ develops. Furthermore, the governance of REDD+, forest management and biodiversity is pluralistic, involving multiple institutions and actors. Efforts to promote REDD+ safeguarding at the international level exist in tensionwith national sovereignty and local autonomy. This complexity is taken into consideration in the suite of policy options provided in this chapter, which suggest the need to draw on a range of institutions and approaches and to consider how together they influence the balance of power and incentives across actors and scales.