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GEOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND LANDSCAPES INWASCON https://doi.org/10.1080/24749508.2021.1923289 REVIEW ARTICLE Perspectives on REDD+ finances from donor to the developing countries: experience from Japan a,b b Md Danesh Miah and Miki Aturo a b Institute of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, University of Chittagong, Chittagong, Bangladesh; Department of Agriculture, Shinshu University, Nagano, Japan ABSTRACT ARTICLE HISTORY Received 18 June 2020 Understanding challenges for future Results-Based Payment (RBP) of the REDD+ are crucial to Accepted 24 April 2021 the REDD+ policymakers. So, there was a question of what will be the challenges and measures of going ahead to the RBP of REDD+. The primary objective of this study is to consider the KEYWORDS REDD+ finances emphasizing private investment and finding the challenges and measures of REDD+; private sector future financing to the REDD+ program in developing countries. As a specific instance, it investment; results-based outlines and makes arguments on how developing countries, using Bangladesh as a case, payment; Japan; Bangladesh; can go ahead of REDD+ implementation with finances from private investors from developed forest governance countries. The study finds that most forest carbon investment has been taken place in the voluntary carbon market as part of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as well as philanthropic contribution. It also finds the demands of REDD+ credits uncertain in the market due to the lack of security of the funding. Japanese companies and researchers suggested a fair democratic system, stable and improving legal system, low corruption, improved national forest govern- ance in the developing countries for their possible private investment for REDD+. The study will be useful for REDD+ practitioners and policymakers in developing countries and Bangladesh, in particular. Introduction As REDD+ is the globally accepted intervention to curb deforestation and forest degradation, under- Both readiness and implementation of REDD+ require standing these finance sources is essential. Streck and finances, which include implementation of the policies Parker (2012), and Parker et al. (2009) find that poten- and measures (PAMs) to generate REDD+ results tial financing sources for REDD+ can be both public (Streck, 2012). Each REDD+ beneficiary country should and private sector finance. However, private finance is have a comprehensive financing plan for REDD+, expected to be a valuable new source of REDD+ which covers both investment and result-based finance finance. Currently, the major REDD+ donor countries (Streck & Parker, 2012). A thorough analysis of drivers, are Norway, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, the comprehensive financial and economic assessments of United Kingdom, and the United States of America potential PAMs, and the preparation of a National (Schroeder et al., 2020). While the most donor coun- Strategy/Action Plan (NS/AP) having broader stake- tries mostly supported readiness programs, policy holder ownership, clearly support a high quality inte- support, and demonstration projects, Norway has grated financial plan (UN-REDD, 2019a). The REDD+ entered into bilateral agreements for results-based investment finance does not come from international payment (Streck, 2012). It is also evident that the sources alone but also from government budgets or early implementation of REDD+ activities endures other domestic sources (Streck, 2012). Attention to a delay and discrepancy in the disbursement of funds investment finance only from international sources (Creed & Nakhooda, 2011). The previous study finds can slow down the process of results-based finance the allocation and approval of USD 446 million out of (UN-REDD, 2016a). Mobilization of international sup- a vast pledge to some particular countries by 2011 port is comfortable if all existing initiatives get fund (Nakhooda et al., 2011). through Official Development Assistance (ODA) and Japan is amongst the few donor countries from other financial sources. It needs better coordination Asia, which has already contributed to the different among different stakeholders at the national level in REDD+ programs, sustainable development, and this mobilization, for which each REDD+ country green growth as a whole (Holroyd, 2014; Kim, should develop a fund management model. A useful 2012). The country mostly supported readiness fund management model needs a good knowledge of programs, policy development, and demonstration the structure and implementation process of PAMs. CONTACT Md Danesh Miah firstname.lastname@example.org Institute of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, University of Chittagong, Chittagong 4331, Bangladesh © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group on behalf of the International Water, Air & Soil Conservation Society(INWASCON). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. 2 M. D. MIAH AND M. ATURO projects. Up to 2011, Japan donated USD finances, private investment, Results-based finances for 18.8 million against a pledge of USD REDD+, and its nearest links to the REDD+ from 3,604 million, which is only 0.52% of the pledges June 2018 to February 2019. Data on private invest- made (Streck, 2012). As Japan, an industrialized ments on REDD+, results-based payment/finance, and Annex I country, ratified the Kyoto Protocol REDD+ funds, and Bangladesh in the process of and committed to contributing to the mitigation of REDD+ were collected from authoritative sources, i.e., global climate change. It is expected that Japan the UN-REDD program in Bangladesh, Bangladesh would have many investments in the REDD+ forest department, and scientific peer-reviewed articles. implementation in the developing country. So, this Scopus and ISI web of knowledge (Clarivate, 2019) was study takes its attempts to understand the “will- used to review the most recent data. It collected data on ingness to investment” in REDD+ programs by REDD+ and climate change from the recent web-pages Japanese companies in Asian developing countries. of UN-REDD (UN-REDD, 2019b), UNFCCC Bangladesh, on the other hand, a REDD+ benefi - (UNFCCC, 2019) and IGES (Institute for Global ciary country and still in the position of Phase I of Environmental Strategies) (IGES, 2019). The perceived the REDD+ activities (UN-REDD, 2019a). The knowledge of REDD+ projects being implemented or country should go through Phase II and Phase III completed as a pilot study in the different developing for RBP. The study considered Bangladesh as countries was related to the situation of Bangladesh. a representative developing/REDD+ beneficiary The study assumes that Japan would have many country which can receive benefits from the investments in the REDD+ implementation in the REDD+ program. developing country. So, this study attempted to know Understanding challenges for future RBP of the the “willingness to investment” in REDD+ programs in REDD+ are crucial to the REDD+ policymakers. developing countries. For this specific instance, the So, there was a question of what will be the chal- study followed a survey method. It used semi- lenges and measures of going ahead to the RBP of structured questionnaires to collect respondents’ views REDD+ in the developing countries, and in on REDD+ finances and related issues in Japan. The Bangladesh, in particular. To scrutinize the REDD study considered the Japanese companies and Japanese + financing, present scenarios of “Private invest- researchers as respondents. It selected the companies ment on REDD+,” “Results-based finance of from all manufacturing industries in the Japanese top REDD+,” “REDD+ funds: Pledges and realities” 500 companies (TOPIX500) as they were deemed to be were developed. After that, it evaluated the situa- possible private investors on the REDD+ program. The tion of Bangladesh in the REDD+ process for list was in the first section of the Tokyo Stock exchange future REDD+ implementation. It argued the chal- (JEG, 2019). Since no specific database for/on REDD+ lenges of receiving finance for REDD+ in this researches and researcher in Japan exist, the study paper. For a specific case, the study had a survey selected Japanese researchers based on their scientific/ from Japan, a donor country, to ascertain its roles published work which is available on the internet. for financing to REDD+ program in developing The questionnaires were sent to respondents countries, and in Bangladesh, in particular. (entrepreneurs and researchers) via the Japanese Presently there is no such study found to make Postal Service in mid-January with an anticipated a bridge over this knowledge gap. This study will return date of 15 February 2019. The study collected make a bridge over this gap. The results of this both qualitative and quantitative data. Data were ana- study will help Bangladesh make an efficient transi- lyzed in the SPSS software (version 24). The data and tion towards Phase II and Phase III for RBP. information gathered from different sources were pro- cessed to show the status of private investments on REDD+, RBP, Japan’s investment to REDD+ and Data sources and study methods REDD+ pledges. Moreover, synthesis has been made on the implementation of the UN-REDD national The study attempted to understand the roles of Japan, program in Bangladesh and the uncertainties and a major donor country from Asia, for its financing to challenges of REDD+ implementation in Bangladesh. the developing country, particularly Bangladesh. Bangladesh is a densely populated country suffering from severe forest loss and degradation, which will Private investments on REDD+ potentially receive benefits from the REDD+ imple- mentation. So this study considered Bangladesh as Halving the deforestation in many developing coun- a representative REDD+ beneficiary country. The tries, it estimated that the opportunity cost ranged study explored the implications of policy for REDD+ from USD 17 billion to 33 billion per year based on The term “Annex I countries” means a list of countries that are the members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as well as economies in transition. It is described within the UNFCCC regime. GEOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND LANDSCAPES 3 the different circumstances and capabilities of the management (Tomaselli, 2006). There are also a few nations (Eliasch, 2012; G.E. Kindermann et al., 2006; carbon market incentives to support REDD+. So, it is G. Kindermann et al., 2008; Simula, 2010; Tavoni not getting a place in the compliance market for its et al., 2007; White et al., 2011). Streck and Parker credit (Barron & McDermott, 2015). (2012), and Parker et al. (2009) find that potential Most forest carbon investment has taken place in sources of finances for REDD+ can be both public the voluntary carbon market, which is driven mainly sector finance and private sector finance (Figure 1). by socially responsible and philanthropic investors The public sector finances can be related to auctioning (Davies & Patenaude, 2011) (Figure 2). Seemingly, an emission allowance or a financial transaction tax, forests are attractive and appealing for carbon invest- which is also known as market-linked finance. Besides, ments under appropriate standards, providing several it can allocate from the budgetary sources, which can co-benefits (e.g., forest conservation and poverty be called budgetary finance. The present study synthe- reduction). sizes that private finance can be suitable through direct The literature review shows that REDD+ will posi- investment in emission reductions. Both the voluntary tively change the scale of forest carbon investment and compliance market can regulate it. It can go along with the type of investors. It seems that private indirectly, investing in the sectors which drive defor- investments will surpass over public finance in the estation and forest degradation, i.e., agriculture or REDD+ implementation in the future. However, infrastructure sector. REDD+ financing needs to overcome political barriers However, including all direct and indirect private and reach an international agreement (Davies & finance, USD 8.7 billion was predicted by the year Patenaude, 2011; Hogarth, 2012). Nevertheless, 2020, while the public finance is covering both market- attracting sustainable, large-scale private investments linked and budgetary finance; it predicts USD and directing them to the most needed places are 30.485 billion by the year 2020 (Figure 1). Although challenging. plenty of private investments is moving for the for- estry sector (forests, industries, trade) in many devel- Results-Based Payment/Finance (RBP) of REDD+ oping countries, only minimal funding goes to the climate change mitigation activities by forests Nowadays, the discussion of REDD+ financing is cri- (Streck, 2012). It estimates that the total foreign direct tical in many policy dialogues (Sunderlin et al., 2015). investment in the forest sector is USD 5 billion Results-Based Payment/Finance (RBP) of REDD+ was per year. It is almost five times the amount of official the central discussion in the Paris Agreement development assistance allocated for sustainable forest (COP21) held in December 2015 (Wong et al., 2016). Figure 1. Public and private finances for REDD+. Adapted from Streck (2012). Figure 2. Carbon market and results-based finance of the REDD+. 4 M. D. MIAH AND M. ATURO The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has been an essential credible reference levels (Brockhaus et al., 2017). An multilateral donor body under the United Nations independent review mechanism requires avoiding bias Framework Conventions on Climate Change in fixing reference levels. It should also ensure (UNFCCC) to provide financial resources for REDD additionality. + in its RBP. It also expects to play a role in imple- Payments for policy performance will need menting the Nationally Determined Contribution negotiated and mutually agreed metrics or indica- (NDCs). The prerequisites of the RBP based REDD+ tors which are context-specific and relevant to the program are as below (Chhatre et al., 2012). 1. institutional-political process (Brancalion et al., A national strategy and action plan; 2. Forest 2017). A cash-on-delivery model for REDD+ can Reference Emission Level (FREL)/Forest Reference increase cost-efficiency, effectiveness and improve Level (FRL), 3. National Forest Monitoring System governance of the recipient countries in (NFMS), 4. Safeguards Information System (SIS), a condition of well-defined and agreed upon tar- and 5. Measuring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV). geted outcomes (Jakob et al., 2015; Savedoff, 2016). The RBP of REDD+ is surrounded by the following It finds from a study of 13 countries that the three questions, i.e., i. How can it achieve adequate, predict- countries accessed performance-based finance for able, and effective REDD+ finance?; ii. What activities REDD+ in advance more quickly in implementing can qualify “performance” in REDD+? and iii. How policy reforms than the others (Brockhaus et al., can non-carbon benefits integrate and safeguard 2017; Halimanjaya, 2015). under an RBP mechanism? For the design of an RBP Security of funding is necessary because, without that is effective, efficient, and equitable, understanding stable and sufficient funding, REDD+ cannot impact variation in costs and deforestation levels, who is on the opportunity costs of forest conservation rather bearing the costs of REDD+, is critical to know. than deforestation and land-use change. So many pilot A study, including 22 subnational REDD+ pilot pro- projects on REDD+ implemented across tropics since jects and programs in six countries, found that stake- 2007 experience awful results on results-based pay- holder institutions closely could involve the ments of getting no such an attraction by the local implementation of REDD+ (Sunderlin et al., 2014). It landholders due to unstable REDD+ financing (Sills also subsidized the subnational level government et al., 2014; Simonet et al., 2015). The Center for Institutions (Wong et al., 2016). It finds that 84% of International Forestry Research (CIFOR), in its analy- stakeholder institutions at the subnational level are sis of 23 REDD+ programs in six countries, finds that incurring higher costs than the benefit they receive only four projects could sell their carbon credits. The from the REDD+ program. However, many of these other programs were dependent on inconsistent pub- costs are not financial (Sunderlin et al., 2014). Unclear lic and philanthropic funding sources (Sunderlin et al., tenure rights possess barriers in recognizing and com- 2015). pensating costs. In the 22 subnational REDD+ pilot The establishment and reporting of SIS trigger projects, it finds that only 9 out of 21 sites have clear the RBP. The SIS should be effective in monitoring legal tenure, which associates with land uses that have issues of social equity and environmental outcomes. the highest financial opportunity cost (Sunderlin et al., It needs the use of mixed methods at multiple 2014). scales and indicators relevant to local realities. Developing a reporting schedule that enables pay- The SIS does not only support more equitable out- ments based both on the time profile of costs and comes, but it can also structure to manage risks performance is necessary for ex-ante payments for (e.g., non-legitimacy of participatory processes) to policy performance (Brockhaus et al., 2017; the delivery of carbon emissions reductions. Other Halimanjaya, 2015). It suggests that some level of experiences and indicators can be useful to manage advanced payment to cover some of the costs is essen- this risk (Wong et al., 2016). The REDD+ countries tial to incentivize participation of the poor (Loft et al., should confirm seven safeguards and develop 2014; Tjajadi et al., 2015). However, this upfront pay- a national level of SIS. It can admonish and reg- ment may give non-performance signals to the buyer ularly report on the social and environmental or donor. On the contrary, an ex-post results-based impacts of REDD+ within the country (Duchelle payment may lead to a high-rate of non-participation & Jagger, 2014). It will choose the minimum safe- in low-income countries (Wong et al., 2016). For guard requirements or have generic indicators in financing certainty and predictability, both upfront the SIS to lower the costs of monitoring and and ex-post results-based payments in the same pro- reporting for accessing RBP (Menton et al., 2014). ject can be useful in some cases (Angelsen, 2013). In the SIS, social performance covers respect for However, it needs clear performance criteria and knowledge and the rights of indigenous people and It works under the Ministry of Finance, The Peoples’ Republic of Bangladesh. GEOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND LANDSCAPES 5 Figure 3. Pledges by multilateral donor organization for the support of REDD+ in the developing countries. local stakeholders and enhancement of other social benefits. In contrast, environmental performance covers promoting biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services provision (Wong et al., 2016). REDD+ funds: pledges and realities The donor countries pledged a good deal of REDD+ finance since 2009. In 2011, the pledges increased from USD 3.5 billion to 4.17 billion for fast-start financing (Streck, 2012). Bilateral donations share two-thirds of all the international supported REDD+ funds (Streck, 2012). Multilateral funds cover the second most inter- national source of funds for REDD+ (Streck, 2012). These funds are the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) Readiness Fund, FCPF Carbon Fund, UN- REDD Fund, Forest Investment Program (FIP) Fund, Congo Basin Forest Fund, and Green Climate Fund. The FIP shares the most substantial pledges, USD 578 million, and the UN-REDD Programme, the lowest, USD 151 million (Streck, 2012) (Figure 3). Figure 4 shows the pledges and the actual donations by some donor countries for REDD+ in developing countries (Streck, 2012). The drivers and factors behind this delay and discrepancy are lack of institu- tions and policies, a mismatch of donor requirements Figure 4. Pledges and actual donations of bilateral donor countries for REDD+ in the developing countries. and recipient needs, and a multitude of institutional, legal, political, and economic barriers (Clark et al., 2018; Streck & Parker, 2012). will go for investment. However, 33% of companies and 67% of researchers opined that there were some Perspectives on REDD+ finances to the national barriers for REDD+ investment. It reported developing countries Japanese culture and lack of knowledge of the devel- oping countries as barriers. They also reported a lack The study considered the responses of 278 companies of proper regulations and sound explanations for the and 16 REDD+ researchers. About 67% of researchers community. The complexity of the procedures for and 17% of companies stated that when investment for bilateral credits and the transparency of verification REDD+ match with the policy of the company, they in the partner countries are the barriers, they also might go for investment (Table 1). Some other com- mentioned. This system is a transaction between panies, 6%, opined that simplification of the credit a Japanese company and the partner country. If an transfer, straight-forward and well-perceived benefits, intermediary trading company pooling credits inter- and the status of a popular REDD+ program might vene in the Japanese side, it can work better, they influence them for investing. About 11% of companies opined. Setting up an opportunity where investors reported that if their local affiliates seem logical, they In 2018, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) was updated to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC). 6 M. D. MIAH AND M. ATURO Table 1. Japanese companies and researchers’ opinions for REDD+ investment in Asian developing countries. Category of the respondents Researchers Investment criteria Company (%) (%) Investment for REDD+ No 100.0 100.0 Yes 0.0 0.0 National barrier to REDD+ investment No 50.0 33.3 Yes 33.3 66.7 No comment 16.7 0.0 Any barrier of developing country to demand Japanese investment No 61.1 0.0 Yes 5.6 66.7 No comment 33.3 33.3 Stage of REDD+ for investment Piloting stage 5.6 0.0 Final implementation 22.2 33.3 No comment 44.4 33.3 Unknown 27.8 0.0 Both the stage 0.0 33.3 Conditions for investment No comment 44.4 33.3 When fitting to our company’s policy 16.7 66.7 No interest 16.7 0.0 Simplification of credit transfer procedure 5.6 0.0 Clearly perceived benefits and REDD+ is popular 5.6 0.0 If local affiliates are directly influenced 11.1 0.0 Stage of investment Solely private investment 0.0 0.0 Public-Private investment 27.8 33.3 No comment 44.4 33.3 Unknown 27.8 0.0 Both private and public-private investment 0.0 33.3 An expectation of benefits from the investment No comment 44.4 33.3 Unknown 44.4 0.0 GHG emission reduction contribution 11.1 66.7 An expectation of management in the REDD+ program No comment 38.9 33.3 Unknown 33.3 0.0 Validation of data by the third party 5.6 0.0 Transparency in the activity 16.7 66.7 Credit guarantee by the third party 5.6 0.0 An expectation of major stakeholder in REDD+ management No comment 44.4 33.3 Unknown 44.4 0.0 Private company 5.6 0.0 The government, local community, NGO 5.6 66.7 Countries for investment Bangladesh 55.6 33.3 Unknown 11.1 0.0 Indonesia and Vietnam 11.1 0.0 The Philippines 5.6 0.0 Malaysia 5.6 0.0 Southeast Asian countries 5.6 0.0 Cambodia 0.0 0.0 Lao PDR 0.0 0.0 Myanmar 0.0 0.0 Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar 0.0 66.66 Not particular 5.6 0.0 and developing countries can share their issues is The stages of the REDD+ program was also crucial essential. for investment. About 6% and 22% of companies The questionnaire survey indicated that there are wanted to invest at the piloting stage and final imple- some sorts of barriers in developing countries, as mentation stage, respectively, which was supported by mentioned by 6% of companies and 67% of research- 33% of researchers. The same researchers also men- ers. Japanese companies thought that it was a barrier tioned that the Japanese companies for their invest- to the developing countries to acquire technologies ment could offer both stages. that can quantitatively calculate and verify the amount The study did not find any company for solely of greenhouse gas (GHG) absorption/emission avoid- private investment. About one-third of the compa- ance. The researchers suggested a fair democratic sys- nies, 28%, felt interest in public-private investment. tem, a stable and improving legal system, low The researchers, 33%, confirmed this state. About corruption in the developing countries for REDD+ 11% of companies expected their investment- investment. They also emphasized an excellent bal- benefit was only GHG emission reduction contri- ance between economic development and environ- bution, which 67% of researchers confirmed (Table mental conservation. It mentioned that the forest 1). In the program management of the REDD+, governance issue was important. They suggested validation of data by a third party, credit guarantee improved national forest governance and dissemina- by a third party, and full transparent activity in the tion of MRV institutions in the partner countries. REDD+ were the expectation by the 6%, 6%, and GEOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND LANDSCAPES 7 Figure 5. UN-REDD process and products. 17% companies, respectively. About 67% of is supporting the developing countries for building researchers validated it. About 6% of companies technical capacities and upgrading and updating its expected the involvement of the local community, resources to fulfill the requirements of Results-Based Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and pri- Payment (RBP). These are all for readiness before vate authority along with the government in the actual implementation. In the process of REDD+ REDD+ program. The respondents suggested an readiness, the UN-REDD program has three phases. improved governance structure that can accept Phase I deals with national strategies or action plans, a wide range of finance and investment. policies and measures, and capacity building. Phase II Most of the companies would like to invest in Asian incorporates the implementation of these plans, poli- countries. The particular countries mentioned were cies, and measures by piloting the program adopting Bangladesh (56%), Indonesia (11%), Vietnam (11%), the necessary changes. Phase III goes for RBP if it can the Philippines (6%), and Malaysia (6%). However, measure emission reduction or enhancement of car- 33% of researchers opined that Bangladesh could be bon, report, and verify against the benchmark. This the target country for REDD+ investment (Table 1). phage III can provide the payment after the Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) generated (Figure 5). However, Bangladesh is still in Phase I. Bangladesh in the REDD+ process and its After being an UN-REDD country in 2010, challenges Bangladesh formed a REDD technical committee. In Bangladesh emits a scanty of greenhouse gas in com- 2011, she formed a national REDD+ steering commit- tee and established the REDD+ cell, and appointed parison to the global scale. The Agricultural sector shares the most substantial contribution (39%) of REDD+ focal point. UNDP and FAO were involved greenhouse gas (GHG) emission. In comparison, the with government initiatives to draft the REDD+ road- map (Figure 6). In 2012, UNDP and FAO submitted Energy sector shares the second most (33%) and Land the draft REDD+ Roadmap to MoEF (Ministry of Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) the third most (17%) in the year 2012 (USAID, 2016). Environment, Forests). Moreover, at this moment, the Roadmap was approved by the National REDD+ Bangladesh National Forest and Tree Resources Steering Committee. After the UN-REDD Policy Assessment undertaking in 2005–2007, reports that the deforestation rate in Bangladesh is 2000 ha Board approved the REDD+ Preparation Proposal per year (FAO, 2017). Having this considerable defor- (R-PP) in 2013, in 2014, the national counterparts and participating UN-organization formulated and estation rate, Bangladesh had the rationality to adopt an action of REDD+, which expects to generate emis- approved the UN-REDD National Project Document sion reduction units and other non-carbon benefits. In (NPD). In 2005, MoEF and ERD (Economic Relations Division ) signed the UN-REDD NPD. Subsequently, this context, Bangladesh went for a REDD+ readiness the Forest Department submitted a technical project program supported by the UN-REDD multilateral funding body. Thus, Bangladesh became a UN- proposal. In June 2016, the UN-REDD National Program got approval (UN-REDD, 2019a). After the REDD partner country in 2010. approval, the Bangladesh government launched the The UN-REDD is a multilateral donor body under the United Nations collaborative program which sup- UN-REDD national program with an inception work- ports nationally led REDD+ initiatives in 65 develop- shop on 3 August 2016. It is a 36-month project (July 15-June 18) implemented by the lead implement- ing countries (UN-REDD, 2016b). Since 2008, the UN-REDD program has been working with the roles ing agency, Bangladesh Forest Department under the of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC ). The UN-REDD Bangladesh National United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). It Program finances USD 2,300,500, segregating between 8 M. D. MIAH AND M. ATURO Figure 6. Timeline of Bangladesh in the REDD+ process. FAO and UNDP. It distributes USD 1,070,000 to FAO creation and sustainable management of plantation and USD 1,230,500 to UNDP (UN-REDD, 2019a). The forests by local communities. It was also evident that project had four expected outcomes, i.e., i. Improved the government of Bangladesh takes steps to establish stakeholder awareness and effective stakeholder the “REDD+ Stakeholders Forum” with the non- engagement; ii. Formulation of national REDD+ strat- government sector for a consultation to increase pub- egy; iii. Preparation of National Forest Reference lic awareness on REDD+ (UN-REDD (2019b). Emission Level (FREL) or Forest Reference Level Inoue et al. (2019) describe that the REDD+ pro- (FRL); and iv. Establishment of a national forest mon- gram in the developing countries of South-East Asia itoring system. The outcome i and ii are the responsi- faces uncertainties on tenure rights, policy overlap- bility of UNDP while the outcome iii and iv of FAO. ping, heterogeneity, and elite capture and conflicts. It Lack of transparency, accountability, and integrity also alerts the lack of proper management in the are the influencing factor of corruption in deforesta- REDD+ program. These uncertainties can further tion and forest degradation in Bangladesh (Rahman, deteriorate the forest commons rather than strength- 2018; TI, 2012). Other underlying drivers of deforesta- ening them (Cadman, 2014). While implementing tion and forest degradation are an excessive collection the REDD+ program, it is crucial to confirm the of forest products, trafficking of logs out of reserve REDD+ triple benefits, i.e., effectiveness, efficiency, forests, forest wildlife poaching, land-grabs by power- and equity. For achieving REDD+ triple benefits in ful actors, and illegal encroachment of forests the situation of Bangladesh, Inoue et al. (2019) sug- (Jayathilake et al., 2021; Salam et al., 1999; TI, 2012). gest the following recommendations. It should Comparing the efficiency parameter of fiscal spending strengthen tenure and property rights, along with in the organization managing REDD+, the study found strengthening connectivity with actors both within that there were some efforts of internal controls and and between forest user groups, service providers, external auditing to the fiscal spending. However, they and government extension services. Constant moni- were insufficient because of the inefficiency and low toring and adjusting slowly with variables and feed- bureaucratic quality of the forest department. Indeed, backs, such as markets and policies, which can either there is a lack of transparency and accountability in reinforce or dampen change in the forest socio- public accounting and auditing, enhancing the corrup- ecological systems, are essential. It should foster tion in the public offices (Ehsan, 2008; TI, 2012; TIB, complex adaptive systems thinking by accepting 2008; WB, 2007). A study in Indonesia shows that regio- unpredictable and acknowledge a multitude of per- nal politicians, government officials, and people in busi- spectives in the community. There should be an open ness are involved with corruption by using their learning system which can encourage learning from discretion over the budgetary allocations, contracts at other regional project and countries. It should the center of government, and other assets at their dis- broaden participation to build trust and shared posal (Palmer, 2005). understanding for enhancing collective action and The critical regulating forest resource in promote polycentric governance (Berardo & Lubell, Bangladesh is The Forest Act, 1927, which deals with 2016; Sunderlin et al., 2015). the conservation and protection of government- Sunderlin et al. (2014) studied the challenges of owned forests as well as some private forests. This establishing REDD+ for 23 subnational initiatives in act also deals with “Social Forestry,” which aims six countries (Brazil, Peru, Cameroon, Tanzania, GEOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND LANDSCAPES 9 Indonesia, Vietnam). It identifies unclear and unstable Conclusion tenure and the disadvantageous economies of REDD+ The study finds some barriers to the developing coun- as the most significant challenges faced in moving tries for REDD+ investments. Only socially responsi- forward with REDD+. Getting a structural change in ble and philanthropic investors are mainly available national and international political systems can for the voluntary carbon market. Still, it is not getting address these challenges (Kameyama et al., 2016; enough responses from the compliance carbon mar- Park et al., 2013). It confirms that the future of ket. The study argued that the REDD+ carbon market REDD+ depends on actors and actions outside the is still unpredictable, and its demand and supplies are domain of REDD+ (Seymour & Jonah, 2016). uncertain. So, the security of funding for REDD+ is Isenberg and Potvin (2010) confirm that indirect not confirmed yet. Furthermore, the lack of institu- links with the replenishment of a REDD+ fund to tions and policies, a mismatch of donor requirements the market are a promising mechanism that lies in and recipients, and a multitude of institutional, legal, the political will. It mentions that the best financial political, and economic barriers make a delay and approach for REDD+ is a flexible REDD+ mechanism discrepancies of REDD+ funds. As a case, Japanese with two tracks, i.e., i. market tracts serves as companies and researchers suggested a fair demo- a mitigation option for developed countries and ii. cratic, stable, and improving legal system, low corrup- A fund track serves as a mitigation option for devel- tion, improved national forest governance in the oping countries (Isenberg & Potvin, 2010; Strand, developing countries for the attraction of Japanese 2016). investments on REDD+ programs. Bangladesh faces The study of Clark et al. (2018), suggests that gov- the same challenges for REDD+ implementation. ernment and policy reform is crucial to have an Bangladesh should take the challenges of barriers and enabling investment environment and move beyond go ahead to Phase II and Phase III of REDD+ activity. voluntary commitments. An international convening It recommends measures to reduce the barriers and informational body can synthesize evidence and con- utilize the potential to develop REDD+ projects in nect projects and investors to resources. Bridging Bangladesh. The study will be useful for REDD+ pol- finance gaps can enhance the cost-effectiveness of icymakers in developing countries and Bangladesh in projects – monitoring, reporting, and impact assess- particular. It will be useful to climate change mitiga- ment (Clark et al., 2018; Peskett et al., 2011). tion practitioners as well. To unlock the investments for functional ecological infrastructure, Angelstam et al. (2017) find the bar- riers, including mistrust among actors, inadequate Acknowledgments collaborative governance, and integrated planning, as well as unfortunate inclusion of evidence-based The study had its attempts with the financial support from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and knowledge on monitoring of landscape restoration hosted by the Forest Policy Laboratory, Faculty of efforts and its social and ecological consequences. To Agriculture, Shinshu University, Nagano, Japan. remove the barriers, it needs practicing trans- disciplinary knowledge production, enhancing social learning among actors and stakeholders, and advocacy Disclosure statement based on improved understanding (Adenle et al., 2017; The author(s) firmly declare that they do not have any Angelstam et al., 2017). It proposes a portfolio of conflict of interest. place-based actions that could help facilitate unlocking investment for functional ecological infrastructure by prioritizing conservation, management, and restora- Funding tion through integrated cross-scale, collaborative, and multi-sector spatial planning. It also needs to under- This work was supported by the Japan Society for the stand the structural and dynamic socio-ecological sys- Promotion of Science (JSPS) [S18155]. tems. It should also identify champions, frame critical messages for different audiences, and share failures ORCID and success stories internationally, which can unlock the investment (Angelstam et al., 2017). The barriers Md Danesh Miah http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4360-9444 and challenges for REDD+ implementation described by Inoue et al. (2019), Clark et al. (2018), Angelstam References et al. (2017), and Sunderlin et al. (2015) completely conform to the situation of Bangladesh. Bangladesh Adenle, A. 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Geology Ecology and Landscapes – Taylor & Francis
Published: Jan 2, 2023
Keywords: REDD+; private sector investment; results-based payment; Japan; Bangladesh; forest governance
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