Redeeming REDD: Policies, Incentives and Social Feasibility for Avoided Deforestation

Redeeming REDD: Policies, Incentives and Social Feasibility for Avoided Deforestation

by Michael I. Brown

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It is now well accepted that deforestation is a key source of greenhouse gas emissions and of climate change, with forests representing major sinks for carbon. As a result, public and private initiatives for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) have been widely endorsed by policy-makers. A key issue is the feasibility of carbon trading or other incentives to encourage land-owners and indigenous people, particularly in developing tropical countries, to conserve forests, rather than to cut them down for agricultural or other development purposes. 

This book presents a major critique of the aims and policies of REDD as currently structured, particularly in terms of their social feasibility. It is shown how the claims to be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as enhance people's livelihoods and biodiversity conservation are unrealistic. There is a naive assumption that technical or economic fixes are sufficient for success. However, the social and governance aspects of REDD, and its enhanced version known as REDD+, are shown to be implausible. Instead to enhance REDD's prospects, the author provides a roadmap for developing a new social contract that puts people first.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781136340604
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 06/26/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 344
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Michael I. Brown is the founder and President of Satya Development International LLC (, a consultancy based in Washington DC. He has over 30 years experience in Africa and other regions working with non-governmental organizations and for-profit groups primarily on USAID-funded projects across diverse development sectors and in conservation.

Table of Contents


1. Grounds for Pessimism and Optimism 

2. Theses and Theory of Change  

3. REDD’s Path to Date 

4. What do Pygmies circa Mobutu’s Zaire have to do with REDD?  

5. Science and Policy 

6. Stakeholders and REDD 

7. Social Feasibility and Its Components 

8. Capacity Building: Often Discussed, Rarely Implemented 

9. Financing Issues 

10. Risks Related to REDD 

11. A New Social Contract for Moving Forward 



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