REDD+ politics in the media: A case study from Cameroon

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The purpose of this study is to identify the media discourse on the subject of avoided deforestation in Cameroon and the authors of that discourse. A second purpose is to understand the changes in such discourse whilst identifying levels and centres of interest in order to assess the evolution of REDD+ in the country. The study also identifies reforms being discussed, both on the REDD+ process and at a broader level, and identifies the main actors and the implications of Cameroon media discourse on effectiveness, efficiency, equity and co-benefits (3Es+). This analysis is based on articles published between December 2005 and December 2009 in three carefully selected national newspapers using specific criteria. They were Cameroun Tribune, Le Messager and The Post. Research shows that only 14 articles on REDD+ were published in the three newspapers during the 5 year study period. The most popular themes were politics and policy making (seven articles), forest ecology (four articles) and the economy and market-related issues, especially carbon trade (two articles). The study shows that the subject is little discussed in the media at the national level, with input from a relatively small number of politicians. Furthermore, it identifies an interest in giving due attention to equity as an essential factor for the success of REDD+ in Central Africa. Last, it shows the weak dissemination of the idea of REDD+ and the need to provide actors, especially state actors, with background or supporting information.

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