In the run-up to December’s Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen
, the idea of REDD
, Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, is gaining greater currency as a way to bring forests into climate mitigation efforts. Australian geographer Jon Barnett
of the University of Melbourne finds the principle of compensating states or communities for reducing deforestation sound. Yet he cautions that the devil is in the details when it comes to implementation. Barnett stresses that deforestation’s diverse causes is an initial challenge in designing effective responses. And to whom should payments be made? Should they go to national governments that may or may not share those resources with communities affected by the restrictions on forest use?
In this interview conducted at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Barnett addresses these questions and highlights a number of areas where translating REDD from principle to practice remains challenging at best and counter-productive at worst: governance and corruption; social justice; monitoring and verification; and potential carbon leakage between participating and non-participating states.