Jacob Phelps on forest carbon, biodiversity and the promise of a green economy

There is growing focus on the synergies between REDD+ policies and transformative Green Economy visions. Indeed, the valuation of forest carbon through REDD+ creates new opportunities for, conservation, more sustainable forest management and green development. However, despite these potential synergies, forestry sector decisions regularly involve trade-offs, many of which are obscured in the optimistic language of the Green Economy. As CIFOR beings to engage with GE concepts, this talk will consider the alignment between REDD+ policies and Green Economy objectives. It will briefly enquire whether the economic valuation of forest carbon represents an engine of green economic growth. It will also highlight the evolution of REDD+ policies as illustrative of profound challenges associated with broad economy-level transformations, and of the limitations to ‘win-win’ solutions to complex socio-ecological problems.This is based on a chapter for a book by the Oxford Biodiversity Institute entitled 'Biodiversity in the green economy', to be published by Routledge in late 2014, edited by Alexandria Gasparatos and Kathy Willis.

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