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Global REDD+ pilot projects and policy lessons vis-à-vis Bangladesh’s current REDD+ Preparations: A Critical Review

Authors: Asraf Siddique*, University of Calgary, Sujoy Subroto*, University of Calgary, Conny Davidsen, Department of Geography, University of Calgary, Canada
Topics: Cultural and Political Ecology, Environment, Asia
Keywords: Political Ecology, REDD+, Land Tenure, Forest Governance Transition in Bangladesh, Benefit Sharing Mechanism, Carbon Forest
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) has been widely implemented around the world over the past decade, with numerous lessons on success and failure with respect to the components that make it work, or not work, in local forest governance. Bangladesh is now en route towards third (REDD+ pilot) stage where pilot projects are expected to be implemented in Protected Areas (PAs) where collaborative forest governance is in place despite some shortfalls. The country is now at a critical juncture for its readiness process as it could draw on abundant implementation lessons from earlier adopters worldwide, if it so chooses. This research dissects selected recent global lessons for a critical (honest) review and application to Bangladesh’s forestry-related policy issues, specifically in its last remaining PAs with critical biodiversity in the region. The paper is based on a two-fold perspective: It is grounded on first-hand in-depth ethnographic and political ecology research in Bangladesh over the past 3 years, paired with a simultaneous meta-review of global REDD+ cases with applicable lessons, which this paper will discuss. While collaborative management opened up some institutional reforms within Bangladesh’s forestry sector specifically for PAs, the research identifies widespread concerns, “hypes and hopes”, regarding the upcoming REDD+ pilot phase in Bangladesh’s PAs. Our international literature meta-analysis identifies critical upcoming challenges for Bangladesh with respect to land-tenure security, power asymmetries in forest governance, institutional capacities, benefit sharing, and, most importantly, uncertainty over the legal definitions of future carbon rights, their beneficiaries, emerging markets and local consequences.

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