Competing discourses on REDD+: Global debates versus the first Indian REDD+ project

Vijge, M.J.


This article analyzes three of themost contentious scholarly and political debates regarding REDD+, focusing on 1) what REDD+ should achieve; 2) who should monitor REDD+ outcomes; and 3) how REDD+ should be financed. In analyzing these, the article conceptualizes three sets of storylines and assesseswhich of the identified storylines resonate in the first Indian REDD+ project, focusing on both stakeholders' views and project design. The three identified questions do not give rise to contentious debates among stakeholders of the REDD+project. Contrasting views on REDD+found in scholarly and political debates – such as carbon versus non-carbon objectives, authority of technical experts versus local communities, and market versus fund-based approaches – are not prevalent among project stakeholders, who believe that different approaches to REDD+ can be combined and can even reinforce each other. Project stakeholders prefer non-carbon benefits as the project's main objective to be monitored jointly by experts and local communities, and favor a mix of fund- and market-based approaches. This is also reflected in the project design. The conclusion reflects on the insights that the multi-level discourse analysis in this article generated, including for REDD+ in general.