November 18, 2010

Duke Study on REDD Published in Scholarly Journal

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 18, 2010

CONTACT: Erin McKenzie
(919) 613-3652

DURHAM N.C. -- Recent work by Duke researchers has been published in the November issue of the quarterly journal Global Environmental Politics.

The paper, “Institutions and Policies to Protect Rural Livelihoods in REDD+ Regimes,” is the result of ongoing research by Lydia Olander, director of ecosystem services for Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and two other collaborators, lead author and former Institute staff member Kathleen Lawlor and Nicholas School of the Environment Associate Professor Erika Weinthal.

The study focused on how to successfully implement a reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) program in developing countries. REDD programs provide payments from developed countries to developing countries to reduce the globally significant levels of greenhouse gas emissions coming from forest loss. Depending how the programs are designed, these payments could potentially provide resources for local forest communities and the rural poor. 

“Many would like to see new potential global markets for reduced emissions from REDD play a role in helping to alleviate poverty in forested developing countries by providing jobs and resources for the people who live there,” said Olander. “But it will require a significant and multi-dimensional effort to overcome significant barriers posed by ambiguous property rights and weak governance.”

The 11-page paper provides an overview of these issues and, based on the authors’ case study and analysis, offers recommendations for social safeguard policies that, if implemented, could assist in the success of such a program in forest communities.

Among their recommendations—positively engage rural populations in REDD by involving them in reforms affecting property rights, gaining their support and providing these citizens access to grievance mechanisms.

For more information on the study, visit the Global Environmental Politics website. A copy of the earlier working paper is also available on the Institute’s website.