Whilst there is some consensus about deforestation and degradation (DD) as sources of emissions contributing towards climate change, there is much less agreement over how these should be included as part of efforts to tackle climate change.
Concerns among developing countries vary from possible negative impacts on economic growth and loss of national sovereignty, to being left out completely of future compensation mechanisms because of the terms on which these are established. Those of developed countries, on the other hand, include the high costs and feasibility of meeting future emissions targets without the inclusion of Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Other concerns include the environmental integrity and economic implications of including REDD+ within mechanisms such as carbon markets. There is criticism from several quarters about large money flows leading to misuse, corruption, displacement of poor people and possibly perverse incentives. As a result, many different visions exist for REDD+ and what it could and should be.
This Background Note describes the diverse agendas driving the REDD+ debate and considers what this may mean in terms of moving ahead with the initiative.