Forests and Climate Change

Forests and Climate Change

The Social Dimensions of REDD in Latin America

Anthony Hall

Controlling deforestation, which is responsible for about one-fifth of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, has become a major tool in the battle against global warming. An important new international initiative – Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) – provides economic incentives to forest users to encourage preservation of trees. Nearly all Latin American countries are introducing national REDD strategies and pilot schemes.

Chapter 4: REDD+ Regimes in Latin America: Leaders

Anthony Hall

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental geography, environmental sociology, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy


REDD+ PIONEERS REDD+ is becoming increasingly attractive to governments, forest users, intermediary agencies and international funding organisations. Most Latin American countries are now developing national REDD+ strategies, which either incorporate pre-existing forest conservation programmes with a PES element (such as Costa Rica, Mexico and Ecuador) and/or individual pilot carbon and biodiversity schemes. Some were established well before ‘REDD’ entered the development lexicon in 2005, forming part of a broader, post-UNCED ‘sustainable development’ agenda. Their aims in terms of carbon sequestration and biodiversity preservation were in effect very similar to those in the REDD+ agenda (such as Proambiente in Brazil, for example). It is difficult to know the exact number of individual projects in Latin America at a given moment that fall into the ‘REDD+’ category, but it could be around 100 overall. There is presently no accurate central registry of such initiatives; but their number is growing steadily as forest users and project developers anticipate formal incorporation into a post-Kyoto agreement, bringing with it the prospect of longer-term funding. In global terms, Latin America undoubtedly leads the way in expanding REDD coverage. Informally, the number of REDD-type, individual community-based and private schemes on the continent is in the hundreds. While there is no attempt here to provide a comprehensive listing, the brief country reviews that follow in this and Chapter 5 mention some of the principle REDD+ schemes underway. They vary considerably in terms of geographical coverage, populations targeted and the environmental and social benefits generated. Schemes range from strict...

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