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

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In this study, we assessed the media coverage of the REDD+ mechanism in Peru’s national and subnational newspapers to better understand the messages reaching Peruvian readers. At the national level, we found only 33 articles on REDD+ in eight national newspapers: El Comercio, Perú 21, Gestión, Expreso, La República, La Razón, El Peruano and Trome. Expanding the search to include climate change and forests, we found 203 articles. Upon finding this low coverage in the national press, we chose two of the country’s departments where most of the REDD+ projects are located and which have shown the greatest progress in the readiness stages: San Martín (Voces and Ahora) and Madre de Dios (Don Jaque and El Observador). But again we only found 10 articles on REDD+ and 10 more when we expanded the search to include climate change and forests.
In regional newspapers, all the articles mentioned REDD+ but did not discuss the topic deeply enough for an assessment of media frames and approaches. In the national newspapers, 26 articles discussed REDD+ more deeply. Most of them were optimistic about REDD+ (58%). While it is estimated that there are 41 REDD+ projects in the country, 74% of the articles were about international issues. The central themes of the articles were mostly related to politics or ecology and the main actors were environmental non governmental organizations. Approaches were almost equally distributed among co-benefits (26%), equity (26%), efficiency (21%) and effectiveness (16%) of REDD+. Although REDD+ was created with a view to climate change mitigation — where efficiency and effectiveness are the most relevant concerns — equity and co-benefits are the central themes in Peru. The rights of indigenous peoples, poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation appear as the most relevant topics in REDD coverage and as national priorities.

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