REDD+, Adaptation, and Sustainable Forest Management: Toward Effective Polycentric Global Forest Governance

Tropical Conservation Science, Forthcoming

47 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2012

Date Written: December 7, 2012


The Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD ) program emerging as a part of the international climate change regime holds the potential to dramatically affect forestry in the tropics. REDD has demonstrated an ability to overcome the major political obstacles to earlier efforts to promote sustainable forest management (SFM) in the tropics, but key questions regarding its on-the-ground impact remain. This article suggests that REDD can become a successful vehicle for advancing SFM if it is re-conceived to include support for adaptation as one of its primary goals. Some degree of adaptation is necessary to effectively implement any form of REDD , and SFM practices offer the core toolkit for securing forest adaptation in the context of REDD . Re-envisioning REDD as a dual-focus program aimed at mitigation and adaptation builds upon the potential synergies between these two climate regime goals and calls upon experiences with SFM to provide the means of achieving them. Operationalizing this vision will require development of novel arrangements of authority and incentives across scales of governance that can provide opportunities for learning in support of a larger need for new approaches to governance of global environmental issues. Thus, integrating adaptation into REDD can advance not only climate change regime goals, but also long-standing SFM goals and the increasingly apparent demand for more effective international environmental governance generally.

Keywords: REDD , adaptation, sustainable forest management, climate change, polycentric governance

JEL Classification: K32, K33, O19, Q23, Q28

Suggested Citation

Long, Andrew, REDD+, Adaptation, and Sustainable Forest Management: Toward Effective Polycentric Global Forest Governance (December 7, 2012). Tropical Conservation Science, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Andrew Long (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

Portland, OR
United States
503-479-8654 (Phone)

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