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Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6125-6140; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6096125

Comparative Multi-Criteria Assessment of Climate Policies and Sustainable Development Strategies in Cameroon: Towards a GIS Decision-Support Tool for the Design of an Optimal REDD+ Strategy

1
EcoXergy Solutions Inc., 1500-885 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 3E8, Canada
2
Regional Scientist on Agricultural Systems Intensification, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), 4163, Avenue Haut-Congo, Commune de la Gombe, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
3
Climate Change and Policy Associate, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) Regional Office, P.O. Box 16317, Yaoundé, Cameroon
4
ASB Global Coordinator and Senior Scientist, ICRAF Head Quarters, P.O. Box 30677, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 April 2014 / Revised: 25 July 2014 / Accepted: 28 August 2014 / Published: 10 September 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Abstract

Cameroon is committed to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation plus conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+). To achieve this goal, the government has introduced a series of policy reforms and formulated a number of key strategic planning documents to advance the REDD+ readiness process in Cameroon. This paper assesses the extent to which major cross-sectoral policies support or impede the development and implementation of an optimal REDD+ strategy in Cameroon from a comparative multi-criteria perspective. Study results reveal that a majority of the policy instruments reviewed appeared to be less prescriptive in terms of any tangible REDD+ strategy, as they do not have provisions for tangible measures to reduce deforestation and forest degradation. Given the lack of adequate flexibility, prompt review and responsiveness of these cross-sectoral policies to adapt themselves to new realities and respond to a changing environment, this paper introduces a GIS-REDD+ decision support system (GIS-REDD+DSS) that is necessary to support the adaptive element of an adaptive REDD+ strategy in Cameroon. The GIS-REDD+DSS, an electronic REDD+agri intermediary hub, serves the following purpose: (1) host a database of locally-relevant climate information, improved input technologies, best practices as well as land use and forest cover geo-spatial maps; (2) host a virtual economic tool that performs economic valuations (costs and benefits) and financial analysis of REDD+agri projects to aid investment decision-making; and (3) host an electronic marketplace to mediate any-to-any transactions among REDD+agri project developers, service providers, input suppliers, private and institutional investors and buyers (wholesalers and retailers), thereby creating value in two ways: aggregation and matching. This decision support tool, we argue, is a fundamental prerequisite for “policy and REDD+ safeguard integration” innovation that allows new scientific findings to be integrated into REDD+ strategies in a short period of time. View Full-Text
Keywords: multi-criteria analysis; policy instruments; GIS; REDD+; decision-support tool; Cameroon; Congo Basin multi-criteria analysis; policy instruments; GIS; REDD+; decision-support tool; Cameroon; Congo Basin
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Kehbila, A.G.; Alemagi, D.; Minang, P.A. Comparative Multi-Criteria Assessment of Climate Policies and Sustainable Development Strategies in Cameroon: Towards a GIS Decision-Support Tool for the Design of an Optimal REDD+ Strategy. Sustainability 2014, 6, 6125-6140.

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