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Does REDD+ have a chance? Implications from Pemba, Tanzania


Conservation scientists continue to debate the strengths and weaknesses of REDD+ as an instrument to slow greenhouse gas emissions in the developing world. We propose that general positions on this debate are less helpful than drawing lessons from specific investigations into the features of individual projects that make them successful or not. Here, focusing on a site-specific REDD+ intervention in Pemba, Zanzibar (Tanzania), we examine the circumstances under which REDD+ has a chance of success, teasing out specific features of both REDD+ interventions and the socio-economic and institutional contexts that render REDD+ a potentially valuable complement to community forestry. Additionally, we highlight some unanticipated positive outcomes associated with the design features of REDD+ projects. Our broader goal is to move away from ideologically-driven debate to empirically-based identification of general conditions where REDD+ could work, and to provide policy recommendations.

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