The implementation of the global programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation (REDD+) is slow and riddled by challenges. It lacks a robust financial mechanism and is widely criticised for producing too little positive impact for climate, nature, and people. In many countries with tropical forests however, a variety of REDD+ projects continue to develop on the ground. This paper fills in some of the gaps in our understanding of the dynamic relation between global policymaking and implementation of REDD+ on the ground. Using the introduction of REDD+ in Southwest Ghana as an example, we apply a practice-based approach to analyse the different roles that local actors and global-local intermediaries played in the introduction of REDD+ in Southwest Ghana. Our results show a more balanced picture than polarised
debates at the global levels suggest. Existing local practices helped REDD+ ‘land’ locally but also transformed REDD+ to resemble such local practices. In turn, this has led to the development of REDD+ initiatives that absorbed elements from established community-based conservation, forest restoration, and sustainable agro-forestry practices.