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REDD+ on hold: Lessons from an emerging institutional setup in Laos

Vongvisouk T., Lestrelin G., Castella J.C., Mertz O., Broegaard R.B., Thongmanivong S.. 2016. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 57 (3) : p. 393-405.

DOI: 10.1111/apv.12134

The prospects of receiving funding for REDD+ have set many developing countries on a pathway of policy reforms to integrate REDD+ in national legislation. Progress has been slow partly due to the lengthy international negotiations on REDD+ but also because the policy reforms have not been backed by sufficient commitment to make REDD+ implementation feasible. To contribute to a better understanding of why policy and institutional reforms have not been successful in taking REDD+ implementation further, we analyse the institutional landscape of the forestry and environmental sectors in Laos as a case in point. We interviewed stakeholders from national to village levels and found that REDD+ has been effectively on hold in Laos. This is because of recent institutional transformations, rapid staff turnover and limited implementation capacity of government agencies at the national and sub-national levels all of which have led to a heavy reliance on international support and external consultants. The result is that Laos may not be ready to benefit from the international agreement on REDD+. The situation in Laos provides a compelling example of how difficult REDD+ implementation has proven to be in countries where institution building is still in process.

Mots-clés : forêt; forêt tropicale; séquestration du carbone; réduction des émissions; politique de l'environnement; accord international; législation; gouvernance; institution politique; climatologie; changement climatique; république démocratique populaire lao; asie du sud-est

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