In Ghana, different policies are being developed to protect forests, like REDD+ and FLEGT. When policy makers manage these policies well and pay attention to their possible interaction, they could reinforce each other, shows a recent publication.
Researcher Ingrid Visseren, Assistant Professor Forest and Nature Conservation Policy at Wageningen University, explains that the interaction between the two policies appeared mainly positive. 'REDD+ could in future deliver financial means to implement FLEGT policy. Also, both policies share many needs, such as expert knowledge and a Secretariat. When policy makers involved in both policies manage to cooperate, many gains can be won.' In order to implement both policies, the same essential conditions need to be met, for example alternative livelihoods for the poor who depend on illegal logging.
There are differences between both policies however, for example in the way progress is monitored. There is a risk that the increased attention for REDD+ takes away time and energy of professionals for FLEGT policy.
The article concludes with recommendations on how to make the most of the interaction of both policies, improving the synergies and enhancing effectiveness. These include emphasis on close cooperation among the professionals and policy makers involved, if possible in a joint secretariat, thereby institutionalizing information sharing and learning. Moreover, activities under REDD+ policy could be aimed at preventing illegal logging, in order to fit with FLEGT policy. Also, REDD+ financial benefits in Ghana could be used to implement FLEGT activities.