Policy learning in REDD+ donor countries: Norway, Germany and the UK

Heike Schroeder, Monica Di Gregorio, Maria Brockhaus, Thuy Thu Pham

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REDD+ has been evolving since 2005, yet its outcomes and effectiveness in reducing deforestation and/or achieving co-benefits are still unclear. The academic literature has focused a great deal on the politics and performance of REDD+ recipient countries and on-the-ground implementation, but less so on REDD+ donor countries and not on the question of how REDD+ donor countries learn in the process of implementing REDD+. We examine the three major REDD+ donors Norway, Germany and the UK and find that their funding objectives and approaches have broadened from the original simple and focused idea of financially rewarding tropical forest countries to keep forests standing and carbon stored to land-use, co-benefits and global efforts of transformation. Modalities of learning have not kept up with the rapid changes in terms of problem definition and characterization (as ‘super wicked’), let alone the transformative organizational or even paradigmatic changes identified as needed. The experience with REDD+ is demonstrating that merely adjusting the system in incremental ways will likely not solve the problems at hand. Instead, novel modes of learning to facilitate such a transition are needed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102106
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
Early online date17 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

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