Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+): game changer or just another quick fix?

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2012 Feb;1249:137-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2011.06306.x. Epub 2011 Dec 14.


Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) provides financial compensation to land owners who avoid converting standing forests to other land uses. In this paper, we review the main opportunities and challenges for REDD+ implementation, including expectations for REDD+ to deliver on multiple environmental and societal cobenefits. We also highlight a recent case study, the Norway-Indonesia REDD+ agreement and discuss how it might be a harbinger of outcomes in other forest-rich nations seeking REDD+ funds. Looking forward, we critically examine the fundamental assumptions of REDD+ as a solution for the atmospheric buildup of greenhouse gas emissions and tropical deforestation. We conclude that REDD+ is currently the most promising mechanism driving the conservation of tropical forests. Yet, to emerge as a true game changer, REDD+ must still demonstrate that it can access low transaction cost and high-volume carbon markets or funds, while also providing or complimenting a suite of nonmonetary incentives to encourage a developing nation's transition from forest losing to forest gaining, and align with, not undermine, a globally cohesive attempt to mitigate anthropogenic climate change.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biodiversity
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Climate Change / economics
  • Conservation of Natural Resources / economics
  • Conservation of Natural Resources / methods*
  • Conservation of Natural Resources / trends
  • Greenhouse Effect / economics
  • Greenhouse Effect / prevention & control
  • Indonesia
  • Norway
  • Politics
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Trees


  • Carbon Dioxide