4.1. Overview of Institutional Arrangements for REDD+ Readiness in the Five Countries
The five countries share similarities in terms of hierarchy structures composed of basically three or four strata in the institutional arrangements for REDD+ Readiness. Table 1
gives a profile of how national REDD+ framework are organized in terms of administrative levels, functions and roles.
As a higher political forum for guiding strategic decision for REDD+ Readiness and promoting sectoral coordination, each country has formed or appointed a governmental body at the uppermost level of the arrangement. In the cases of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Papua New Guinea, and Vietnam, this body takes the form of a committee or council, chaired by the ministerial or secretary general level, and involving representatives from other relevant ministries. In the case of Indonesia, along with the co-operation with the Norway Government (Letter of Intent: LOI), overall responsibility for developing REDD+ Readiness was mandated under the authority of the President’s Delivery Unit for Monitoring, Development and Oversight (UKP4) (while the analysis for Indonesia’s REDD+ focuses on the REDD+ governance arrangement under the UKP4, it should be noted that the UKP4 was dissolved in December 2014 according to the government’s reform led by Indonesia’s new president, President Joko Widodo. Since 2015, the newly established Ministry of Environment and Forestry is taking a lead in REDD+ by Presidential Decree No. 16, 2015) established within the President Office in 2009, the intention of which is to improve inter-ministerial coordination [53
As the main management and coordination body to develop REDD+ Readiness, a special government unit or management office was set up in each of the five countries: REDD+ Taskforce in Cambodia (2010–now), National REDD+ Task Force in Indonesia (2010–2013), REDD+ Task Force in Lao PDR (2008–now), and the Office of Climate Change and Development (OCCD) in Papua New Guinea (2010–now). In Vietnam, the REDD+ Steering Committee (2011–now) supported by the National Network (2009–now) is viewed equivalent to this operating level (detailed discussion is given below). These organizations are considered as the main government instrument for REDD+ Readiness in each country, as they are directly responsible for the formulation of national strategy, managing overall development of REDD+ activities, and taking the lead in coordinating measures over stakeholders. To provide support in terms of administrative operations, Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam set up secretarial offices. National REDD+ Task Force in Indonesia and the OCCD in Papua New Guinea are provided with the necessary administrative capacities.
In order to address technical issues related to REDD+, such as monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) system, forest reference emission levels (RELs), and social and environmental safeguards, several technical team/working groups are under development within the REDD+ institutional frameworks in each country.
4.2. REDD+ Intuitional Arrangements in Relation with Existing Forest Institutions
Each of the five countries has established governance structures for REDD+ Readiness, which may provide vertical linkages from higher political level to administrative and technical matters associated with REDD+. While the frameworks present common features as shown in Table 1
, two types of governance arrangement are found in relation to existing forest institutions: based on the present forest administration (the arrangements of Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam); and creation of new institutions for REDD+ Readiness instead of the present government body for forest administration (the arrangements of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea).
In the former type of arrangement, the forest administration body officially plays a central role in leading REDD+ Readiness and serves as the national focal point. For example, in Cambodia, the Forestry Administration (FA) under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and the Ministry of Environment (MOE) chair REDD+ Taskforce and take the lead on REDD+ [30
]. In Vietnam, the Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) acts as a national focal point, hosting the REDD+ Office to support REDD+ Steering Committee and organize REDD+ Network activities [29
In contrast, new organizations were appointed or created with authority to lead REDD+ Readiness in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea outside the existing forest institution. In Indonesia, even though the preparation for REDD+ had been originally conducted by the Ministry of Forestry with the collaboration of BAPPENAS (The Ministry of National Development and Planning) [11
], coordination in formulating the REDD+ National Strategy and lead preparation for REDD+ shifted to the National REDD+ Task Force, which was independently established under the authority of the UKP4. In Papua New Guinea, the OCCD was created by National Executive Council (NEC) decision 54/2010 and appointed to develop and manage REDD+ Readiness, while the Papua New Guinea Forest Authority (PNGFA) is a government body with regulatory and administrative responsibility for managing the forest sector [55
4.3. Involvement of Ministries and Agencies in the Inner-Ministerial Coordination Body in the Arrangements
In the five countries, main coordinating structures between different policy sectors have been established at the management level of the governance arrangements for REDD+ Readiness. Table 2
shows policy sectors involved in the inter-ministerial body through participation of responsible ministries and agencies of the five countries.
In Cambodia, the need for sectoral coordination for REDD+ was primarily answered by the creation of REDD+ Task Force (the inter-ministry REDD+ Taskforce was first established in January 2010 as an interim measure and then re-established in February 2013 by Decision No. 87 of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on Establishment of Cambodian REDD+ Taskforce), which is the main REDD+ management body with mandates to oversee and coordinate processes to formulate national REDD+ strategy and relevant actions to REDD+. This arrangement was created in 2010, and since then, the number of state actors participating in the Task Force has increased to ten members, consisting of senior officials from the forest, environment, land use planning, finance, rural development, and mining ministries. The Task Force was given the role of high-level cross sectoral coordination and policy guidance from the National Climate Change Committee (NCCC), which is chaired by the Prime Minister and involves representatives from 20 ministries and three government agencies [58
]. However, since the Committee addresses all aspects of climate change including both mitigation and adaptation, the Task Force serves as the most powerful instrument to provide sectoral coordination on REDD+ decision-making in Cambodia.
A similar mechanism is found in Lao PDR, where sectoral coordination is primarily introduced at the same level of government organization as Cambodia’s REDD+ Task Force. The inter-ministerial REDD+ Task Force was originally established by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) in 2008 via Ministerial Decree No. 1313 to oversee and to provide coordination over REDD+ [27
]. Following the establishment of the new ministry (Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment: MONRE), the responsibility of REDD+ was transfer from the MAF and the Task Force was re-established by Department of Forest Resources Management (DFRM) under MONRE in October 2013 via MONRE decision No. 7176. Following this reform, the number of members comprising the Task Force was increased from 15 to 24. The Task Force comprises members at director general/deputy director general level from ministries and other agencies related to forestry and agriculture, energy and mining, development planning and industry sectors. In addition, the R-PP of Lao PDR suggests high-level cross sectoral coordination to be provided from the National Environment Council (NEC), which consists of ministers and vice ministers from 14 key agencies [27
]. The Council was established in 2002 to provide advice to the government regarding environmental issues [32
], however it has not functioned effectively and its linkage with the Task Force remains unclear.
In Indonesia, REDD+ Task Force (2010–2013) served as the main instrument to implement the LOI with Norway’s Government and the most powerful to develop Indonesia’s REDD+ Readiness. Its tasks included to create an institutional and legal framework for REDD+ in Indonesia, including formulation of National REDD+ Strategy and establishment of the REDD+ Agency (in 2014, the REDD+ Agency started its operation as a successor to National REDD+ Task Force in order to move REDD+ toward implementation phase. However, REDD+ Agency was closed down in 30 January 2015 following the government’s reform led by Indonesia’s new president, President Joko Widodo and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry is currently taking a lead in REDD+). Established through the Presidential Decree No. 19/2010, and chaired by the head of UKP4, the Task Force was theoretically able to lead the activities of all other line ministries and agencies regarding REDD+ [53
]. In addition, the Task Force involves members of senior officials of relevant ministries and other agencies for “forestry”, “environment”, “land use”, “planning”, and “finance” [31
]. During the first period of the Task Force (2010–2011), “agriculture” and “mining” sectors were not formally been represented in the REDD+ institutional arrangements, however, in its second period (2011–2013), these two sectoral ministries participated as members, appointed in the Presidential Decree No. 25/2011. Under the Task Force, ten thematic working groups were established, each headed by senior government officials and experts in their field.
In Papua New Guinea, the OCCD acts as the responsible government body for REDD+, while REDD+ sector programs will be implemented by other government departments and agencies in accordance with their mandates [28
]. Under the arrangement, a cross-departmental working group, namely Technical Working Group for REDD+, was established in 2010. Chaired by the OCCD, the Working Group has diverse membership, comprising 21 members from departments of the government, non-government organizations, donors and industry associations [28
]. Its main duty is to provide technical guidance for the implementation of REDD+ activities, yet the Working Group seems to function primarily as consulting groups that provide comments on information from the OCCD [17
In Vietnam, the National REDD+ Steering Committee was created in early 2011 via MARD Decision No.39/QD-BNN-TCCB to facilitate cross-sectoral coordination among government agencies. The main functions of the Steering Committee is to propose relevant policies relating to REDD+, and direct the formulation of the National REDD+ Programme (NRAP). Chaired by the Minister of MARD, the Committee’s members include representatives from seven departments of MARD as well as other ministries and agencies, which are responsible for “environment and climate change”, “planning”, “finance”, “foreign affairs”, and “ethnic issue” [29
]. In addition, the government established the National REDD Network via MARD Decision No.2614/QD-BNN-LN, together with the National REDD Working Group including several Sub-Technical Working Groups, which actually serve as forums for information sharing and discussions about the design and implementation of all elements of national REDD+ system. Several donor organizations, international NGOs, and many of the forestry institutions of the MARD are engaged as members in the Network and the Working Group [18
]. However the participation of other ministries and government agencies is limited at these technical and operational levels. The sectoral coordination for REDD+ is attempted primarily through the National REDD+ Steering Committee.
4.4. Participation of Non-State Actors in the Institutional Arrangements for REDD+ Readiness in the Five Countries
The government documents for designing REDD+, such as R-PP, of the five countries identify a range of non-state actors who would be affected by or would have an impact on the design and implementation of REDD+, including multilateral and bilateral donor organizations, international NGOs, academic and research organizations, civil organizations and domestic NGOs, private sector, indigenous groups, and local communities [26
]. However, the five countries demonstrate a great variation in engagement and coordination with stakeholders. Table 3
summarizes the non-state actors involved and their given role in the institutional arrangements for REDD+ Readiness of the five countries.
In recognition of the importance of stakeholder participation and consultation in developing national REDD+ system, the Royal Government of Cambodia decided to set up the REDD+ Consultation Group within the REDD+ institutional framework. Involving international organizations, academic institutions, civil society, indigenous peoples, forest dependent communities, NGOs, and the private sector, the Consultation Group aims to support the REDD+ Taskforce by providing comments and recommendations, and/or express concerns especially on issues associated to stakeholder engagement and REDD+ safeguards [59
]. Representing diverse groups of stakeholders, its fundamental role is to introduce an effective consultation process in developing REDD+ in Cambodia.
In contrast to Cambodia’s case, stakeholder participation is not easily grasped in the REDD+ framework of Lao PDR. The framework constitutes mostly by the government organizations in accordance with their mandates. As a member of the REDD+ Taskforce, the National University of Laos plays a think-tank role in designing REDD+ elements. A few non-government entities are also involved in the Taskforce, namely Lao Front for National Construction (LFNC), Lao Women’s Union (LWU) and Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which are considered to represent views of civil society and particular groups [25
]. However, these organizations are considered as inherently political, under the ruling Lao People’s Revolutionary Party. The space for non-state actors to engage with REDD+ decision-making is likely to be limited due to the political history and culture of the country.
The REDD+ frameworks of Indonesia and Vietnam provide non-state actor with opportunities to participate actively in discussion and analysis for developing REDD+. In Indonesia, there were ten working groups under the REDD+ Task Force. The members of the groups were not only from the governmental organizations, but also included experts from multilateral organizations, NGOs, civil society, private sector and indigenous groups. Each working group, consisting of 4–7 members was responsible for developing elements of REDD+, such as a national strategy, the MRV institution, safeguards system and a financial mechanism. However, participation is not on a voluntary basis; rather it is based on individual expertise to complete the responsibilities of the Task Force.
In Vietnam, non-state actors are allowed to participate in REDD+ institutional framework through the REDD+ Network and a number of Sub-Working Groups. Together with government agencies, ten non-state organizations are listed as members of these groups [57
]. However civil society, private sector, indigenous people groups, and local communities are not involved as the members, even though the arrangement takes a form of open-ended participation. Including academic institutions, international development partners, and NGOs, the arrangement is viewed to contribute to generating knowledge for REDD+ and encouraging communication between state and non-state actors. There have been a number of outputs from the Sub-Working Groups on design of REDD+ elements (e.g., MRV framework document, a design document for benefit distribution). However, Stewart et al. [18
] pose a question about the actual impacts of the mechanism to facilitate policy inputs from non-state actors, as the government has no obligation to adopt these technical recommendations.
In Papua New Guinea, the Technical Working Group for REDD+ under the OCCD has diverse members including 15 non-government organizations such as NGOs, donors and industry associations [28
]. Such a multiple-actors framework is designed to provide overall technical knowledge and guidance for the implementation of REDD+ activities; and to support the OCCD to develop constructive relationships with a variety of different stakeholders [9
]. However, the non-state members listed in the R-PP are international and national actors, while local actors such as indigenous communities are not represented. In addition, as pointed out to date, mainly the function has been focused on consultation to provide comments on information from the OCCD and it is less clear how and whether comments would be incorporated or not.