Coffee Hour: The Justices and Injustices of REDD+

Friday, March 15, 2013 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
• 3:30 p.m. Refreshments are offered in the E. Willard Miller seminar room, 319 Walker Building • 4:00 p.m. The lecture begins at 4:00 p.m. in the John J. Cahir Auditorium, 112 Walker Building

About the talk

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) may become an important part of the international climate architecture in coming years. REDD+ seeks to tap the potential of tropical forest management to mitigate climate change, utilizing financial transfers to tropical countries to entice forest management that avoids carbon losses and enhances carbon stocks. This takes place on the background of entrenched economic, political, and cultural inequalities characterizing tropical forest management.

Global agreements on REDD+ involve ambitious attempts to achieve reductions in carbon emissions from forests in a socially just manner. The decisions made under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) foresee unprecedented amounts of financial transfers from industrialized to compensate tropical countries for incurred costs. Additionally, the UNFCCC decisions include explicit provisions, the so-called safeguards, to promote the application of social justice principles in the design and implementation of REDD+ actions.

Thomas Sikor examines the justices and injustices of REDD+ actions. He analyzes core features of the emergent REDD+ architecture that shape the distribution of benefits and costs among relevant actors, attends to the roles actors assume in decision-making over REDD+ at the level of policy and implementation, and considers how REDD+ actions recognize forest people’s particular histories and identities.  This approach allows Sikor to identify critical mechanisms that decide about the justices and injustices of REDD+ actions.

Using the insights from REDD+, Sikor concludes with more general thoughts on social justice and resource management.


 About the speaker





Thomas Sikor is a professor of environment and development at the University of East Anglia. He works on natural resource property, institutions and governance, as well as rural transformations, with a particular interest in issues of social and environmental justice. Sikor has guest-edited various special journal issues, edited several books, and authored numerous articles on these topics. He has advised governmental, non-governmental, and international organizations on forest rights and inclusive forest governance in an effort to make resource management more socially just.