A modular framework for management of complexity in international forest-carbon policy

Elizabeth A. Law, Sebastian Thomas, Erik Meijaard, Paul J. Dargusch, Kerrie A. Wilson. 2012. A modular framework for management of complexity in international forest-carbon policy. Nature Climate Change 2:155-160. doi:10.1038/nclimate1376

Abstract

Complex and variable ecological and social settings make the programme on reducing emissions through avoided deforestation, forest degradation and other forestry activities in developing countries (REDD+) a challenging policy to design. The total value to society of each type of REDD+ outcome is dependent on the fundamentally different risk profiles of alternative forest-management approaches and their scope and potential for co-benefits. We suggest a modular policy framework for REDD+ that distinguishes and differentially compensates the distinct outcomes. This could represent an improved framework to promote and manage incentives for effective forest-carbon initiatives, offer better scope to find common ground in policy negotiations and allow faster adaptation of policy to an uncertain future.

REDD+ conceptual design under present policy (left-hand side) and a proposed modular framework based on separation of REDD+ outcomes (right-hand side).

Figure 1: REDD+ conceptual design under present policy (left-hand side) and a proposed modular framework based on separation of REDD+ outcomes (right-hand side).

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