The political economy of reforestation and forest restoration in Asia–Pacific: Critical issues for REDD+
The paper discussed the impacts that governments and large corporation have on forest restoration programs, through regulations and markets controls, which have resulted in the marginalization forest-dependent communities. Previously, economic rent were transferred through timber concessions were issued to government affiliates but have been repackaged under forest restoration programs through the issuing of commercial plantation licenses, access to residual wood and capital subsidies, which allow for continued land control or expansion of state-owned land onto “degraded” forest. Corrupted practices, fraud and pervasive incentives by governments and timber companies result in forest resources being undervalued, coupled with weak enforcement of legislation allow logging companies further degrade forests. Rural communities are forced to resettle with little help on securing their livelihoods at new locations and at times manipulated into agreements with poor terms by timber companies.
Conclusions & Takeaways
The authors suggested that REDD+ consider the rights of local community, strengthening the benefits local communities received, removing perverse incentives and ensuring accountability and equity in distribution of financial incentives for more successful future projects in the Asia-Pacific region.
- Woods & Wayside International, Hopewell, NJ, USA
- School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia