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Forests 2011, 2(1), 66-85; doi:10.3390/f2010066
Article

Decentralization and REDD+ in Brazil

Centro de Desenvolvimento Sustentável Universidade de Brasília, Campus Universitário Darcy Ribeiro, CET/CDS, Bloco C, Brasília, DF, CEP 70904-970, Brasil
Received: 15 November 2010 / Revised: 27 December 2010 / Accepted: 29 December 2010 / Published: 5 January 2011
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Abstract

Recent discussions on REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, plus conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks) have raised optimism about reducing carbon emissions and deforestation in tropical countries. If approved under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), REDD+ mechanisms may generate a substantial influx of financial resources to developing countries. Some authors argue that this money could reverse the ongoing process of decentralization of forest policies that has spread through a large number of developing countries in the past two decades. Central states will be accountable for REDD+ money, and may be compelled to control and keep a significant share of REDD+ funds. Supporters of decentralization argue that centralized implementation of REDD+ will be ineffective and inefficient. In this paper, I examine the relation between subnational governments and REDD+ in Brazil. Data show that some state governments in the Brazilian Amazon have played a key role in creating protected areas (PAs) after 2003, which helped decrease deforestation rates. Governors have different stimuli for creating PAs. Some respond to the needs of their political constituency; others have expectations to boost the forest sector so as to increase fiscal revenues. Governors also have led the discussion on REDD+ in Brazil since 2008. Considering their interests and political power, REDD+ is unlikely to curb decentralization in Brazil.
Keywords: Brazil; Amazonia; tropical forests; decentralization; protected areas; REDD+; subnational governments; federalism Brazil; Amazonia; tropical forests; decentralization; protected areas; REDD+; subnational governments; federalism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Toni, F. Decentralization and REDD+ in Brazil. Forests 2011, 2, 66-85.

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