REDD+ policy networks in Brazil: constraints and opportunities for successful policy making
The prospective introduction of REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation and enhancement of carbon stocks) in Brazil has generated many questions about its form of implementation and likely environmental effectiveness. These issues must be addressed to reduce the risks associated with REDD+, such as conflicts over land and forest resources, and increase the likelihood of successful outcomes, as equitable benefits sharing. In this study, the authors examine how policy actors such as NGOs, government, and the private sector influence the REDD+ policy process in Brazil. They analyze actors’ positions on key issues in REDD+ (conflicts; benefits sharing; free, prior, and informed consent; tenure; and coordination) to identify associated constraints and opportunities for REDD+ policy making with a focus on the national strategy. The authors examine the structure of three policy networks in this policy arena (prestige, information exchange, and collaboration) with the aim of explaining these constraints and opportunities, so that policy can be positively modified or adapted ahead of its implementation. They note that the presence of polarization on the issues analyzed implies the need for better negotiation among actors if REDD+ is to move forward effectively. Furthermore, the absence of coordination between types of actors (private sector, government, and NGOs) suggests that achieving optimal REDD+ governance in Brazil will be difficult. Finally, the authors propose some directions for REDD+ policy making in Brazil that could help policy managers and stakeholders improve the design and implementation of the national strategy.