Who makes land use decisions? How are decisions made? Who influences whom, and how and why?
A key challenge in the design and implementation of land use strategies, including REDD+, is the sheer range of actors. National, regional and local governments; private firms; non-governmental organizations; indigenous communities; smallholders; and many others are operating at multiple levels and time scales. And they differ in terms of perspectives, interests, objectives, knowledge, resources and power. All of this influences the manner in which people and groups interact and negotiate – and how governance arrangements play out on the ground.
In addition, transparency, inclusiveness and accountability relations affect the legitimacy of decision-making processes and results as they relate to land use.
CIFOR’s REDD+ research emphasizes the multilevel governance of land use decision making institutions and processes. It also considers the politics of monitoring, reporting and verification; fiscal incentive mechanisms; the effects of global governance regimes; landscape-level trade-offs; and more. Support to subnational processes, including jurisdictional approaches that include multi-stakeholder platforms, is essential for making REDD+ work. CIFOR scientists and partners have hosted and developed guidance for creating such platforms, which aim at sustainable and equitable land and forest use.
By generating scientific knowledge and participatory tools, and working with multiple actors, the multilevel governance research done by the Global Comparative Study on REDD+ aims to help overcome the economic and policy barriers in REDD+ implementation so that forests and people can thrive.