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Domestic and international forest regime nexus in Cameroon: An assessment of the effectiveness of REDD+ policy design strategy in the context of the climate change regime.

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Richard S. Mbatu

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The major goals of forest governance arrangements are sustainable forest management (SFM), poverty alleviation, and enhancement of forest biodiversity. However, in recent years, climate change mitigation, through reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD +1) has emerged as one of the most important aspects of forest governance arrangements. This is due to the fact that REDD + has the potential to provide a framework for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation while addressing rural poverty and conserving forest biodiversity at the same time. In other words, the REDD + scheme provides co-benefits beyond its main goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, REDD + is seen by many forest governance experts as a scheme that has the potential to slow down deforestation in a country like Cameroon, which arguably, has the highest rate of deforestation in the Congo Basin. However, this will depend on the effectiveness of Cameroon's REDD + policy strategy, its efficiency in meeting its objectives at the lowest cost, and its ability to equitably distribute costs and benefits associated with the scheme. This paper assesses the effectiveness of REDD + policy design in Cameroon within the context of the climate change regime. The paper employs the policy design approach to analyze four components of Cameroon's REDD + policy design framework — governance and institutional arrangement; emissions baseline; leakage and scale; and technical issues. An economic-based assessment of the forest transition curve and the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) reveals limitations that could render the REDD + scheme cost ineffective for Cameroon. The paper suggests that Cameroon would have to focus on strengthening its existing governance structures and nurturing its forest related international agreements, if it is to design a REDD + policy strategy that is consistent with the “nested” climate change regime approach.


Abstract only. Full-text article is available through licensed access provided by the publisher. Published in Forest Policy & Economics, 52, 46-56. DOI: 10.1016/j.forpol.2014.12.01. Members of the USF System may access the full-text of the article through the authenticated link provided.