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Forests 2014, 5(10), 2400-2424; doi:10.3390/f5102400

REDD+ Policy Approaches in the Congo Basin: A Comparative Analysis of Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

1
Viikki Tropical Resources Institute (VITRI), Department of Forest Sciences, P.O. Box 27, Latonkartanonkaari 7, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
2
World Wide Fund for Nature, Yaoundé, P.O. Box 6776, Cameroon
3
World Agroforestry Centre, Yaoundé P.O. Box 16317, Cameroon
4
World Agroforestry Centre, P.O. Box 30677, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 February 2014 / Revised: 22 September 2014 / Accepted: 22 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
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Abstract

The Congo Basin forests are a prime location for implementing REDD+. National REDD+ policy processes are ongoing and many REDD+ pilot initiatives are being demonstrated. However, the level of national engagement, progress and distribution of REDD+ activities varies considerably in the different Congo Basin countries. This study therefore uses a set of criteria to assess national and international policy initiatives and approaches for advancing REDD+ implementation in Cameroon and the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC), two countries where more than two thirds of the Congo Basin forests are concentrated. Our findings show that (i) both countries have shown the highest political presence at the international climate negotiations but DRC has invested more in the size of its delegation and side events; (ii) REDD+ donors, initiatives, and funding are disproportionately skewed towards DRC making it technically more advanced; (iii) the high political interest and institutional reforms in DRC favors private sector investments in REDD+ programs; and (iv) the REDD+ policy process is internally-driven in Cameroon with a strong national ownership, while it is externally-driven in DRC with weak national ownership. To advance REDD+, the government of DRC should embark on capacity building programs that ensure the transfer of REDD+ technical know-how from international to national actors while Cameroon needs to speed-up governance reforms and be more flexible in order to attract influential international REDD+ actors. This paper further provides specific recommendations. View Full-Text
Keywords: Congo declaration; forest governance; REDD+; UNFCCC Congo declaration; forest governance; REDD+; UNFCCC
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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Fobissie, K.; Alemagi, D.; Minang, P.A. REDD+ Policy Approaches in the Congo Basin: A Comparative Analysis of Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Forests 2014, 5, 2400-2424.

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