Equity and REDD+ in the Media: a Comparative Analysis of Policy Discourses
Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) is primarily a market-based mechanismfor achieving the effective reduction of carbon emissions from forests. Increasingly, however, concerns are being raised aboutthe implications of REDD+ for equity, including the importance of equity for achieving effective carbon emission reductionsfrom forests. Equity is a multifaceted concept that is understood differently by different actors and at different scales, and publicdiscourse helps determine which equity concerns reach the national policy agenda. Results from a comparative media analysisof REDD+ public discourse in four countries show that policy makers focus more on international than national equity concerns,and that they neglect both the need for increased participation in decision making and recognition of local and indigenous rights.To move from addressing the symptoms to addressing the causes of inequality in REDD+, policy actors need to address issuesrelated to contextual equity, that is, the social and political root causes of inequality.