Is REDD+ Redefining Forest Governance in Nepal?
Keywords:community forestry, institutions, decentralized forest governance, civil society organizations, Nepal
In this paper, I argue that the Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation and enhancing forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD)+ readiness process in Nepal has reconfigured forest governance in subtle ways and posed risks of its recentralization. Powerful actors, especially the government, consultants and donor entities, have influenced the REDD+ process and policy debates, and have jointly marginalized local communities and civil society organizations (CSOs). This paper reveals that Nepal’s REDD+ architecture is primarily shaped by imperatives and ambiguities in the international negotiations and funding mechanisms. Building on the theoretical frameworks of institutional interplay, cross-scale institutional linkages, and institutional design, this paper analyses how interplay and interactions of national institutions and stakeholders influence the REDD+ readiness process, its emerging institutional architecture, and decentralized forest governance. The analysis has been informed by evidence from the author's own research and engagement in REDD+ policy processes in Nepal.
Journal of Forestry and Livelihood Vol.10(1) 2012 74-87
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