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Forests 2017, 8(5), 150; doi:10.3390/f8050150

Stakeholder Participation in REDD+ Readiness Activities for Three Collaborative Projects in Lao PDR

1
Faculty of Forestry Sciences, National University of Laos, P.O. Box 7322 Dong Dok Campus, Xaythany District, Vientiane, Lao PDR
2
Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Kyushu University, 6-10-1 Hakozaki, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka City 812-8581, Japan
3
Center for International Partnerships and Research on Climate Change, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (FFPRI), 1 Matsunosato, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8687, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Timothy A. Martin
Received: 22 January 2017 / Revised: 27 March 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
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Abstract

A key challenge for reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) in developing countries is to balance the power of various stakeholders in decision making. This study explores the forms of stakeholder participation in the implementation of three pilot projects in Laos, with a focus on who actually makes decisions on project activities. We found that stakeholder roles in making decisions were imbalanced. The central government and development partner organizations were the ones who actually fulfill the roles of decision-makers in most project activities. Although local communities were not the key stakeholders in decision making in most activities, their roles seem to have increased in the activities where participatory approaches were applied. Participation of the private sector, non-governmental organizations, academic and research institutes and mass organizations was limited. Opportunities to reach decision-makers regarding project activities came through service contract agreements. Our findings suggest that an understanding of who fulfills the key roles will support a decentralization of decision making by balancing power and redistributing the roles from dominant to weaker stakeholders. In addition, the private sector’s participation may enhance opportunities to harmonize their investments for supporting REDD+ development and reduce the negative impacts on the forests and the environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: stakeholder participation; decision-making power; REDD+; collaborative project; CliPAD; PAREDD; SUFORD-SU; Laos stakeholder participation; decision-making power; REDD+; collaborative project; CliPAD; PAREDD; SUFORD-SU; Laos
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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

Boutthavong, S.; Hyakumura, K.; Ehara, M. Stakeholder Participation in REDD+ Readiness Activities for Three Collaborative Projects in Lao PDR. Forests 2017, 8, 150.

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