This article investigates the public discourses on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) across seven countries, to assess whether they support policy reforms. We argue that transformational discourses have at least one of these characteristics: they advocate specific policy reforms that address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation; take into account the potential risks of a REDD+ mechanism; go beyond technocratic solutions to reduce emissions; and explicitly challenge existing power relations that support drivers of deforestation. The evidence indicates the predominance of win-win storylines, a lack of engagement by state actors with debates on the potential negative socioeconomic outcomes of REDD+, and little attention to the drivers of deforestation. The article concludes that to achieve a shift toward transformational public discourse, reformist policy actors and the media need to engage dominant policy actors in debates about how to reduce pressure on the forest.

Di Gregorio, M., Brockhaus, M., Cronin, T., Muharrom, E., Mardiah, S., & Santoso, L.
Deadlock or Transformational Change? Exploring Public Discourse on REDD+ Across Seven Countries
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Date / Year
Nov 2015
Global Environmental Politics