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Title: REDD+ institutional design and implementation within local socioeconomic settings : evidence from Kenya
Author: Atela, Joanes Odiwuor
ISNI:       0000 0004 5355 5341
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2015
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Designing and implementing the Reduced Emissions from Avoided Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) depend on mutually interlinked actors, policies and socioeconomic factors across global, national and local levels. Unpacking the interaction between REDD+ design and implementation processes could holistically identify sources of institutional impediments to the programme’s effectiveness in the context of sustainable development. This thesis examines the process of designing REDD+ rules at the global level and the implementation of these rules at the national and local levels in Kenya. The study develops and applies an integrated institutions and development analytical framework (IDAF) within which iterative document analysis, quantitative vulnerability indexing, project inventories and interviews are applied to gather empirical evidence. Results reveal that multilevel institutional impediments face REDD+ design and implementation. At the global level, resource endowment determines actors’ ability to design and implement methodological, financial and safeguard design rules for REDD+. However, due to resource limitation and reliance on REDD+ funds, the input of African States into the technical and institutional REDD+ design is weak. This creates gaps in technical capacity and funding required for implementing the global rules at the national level. In Kenya, the national implementation relies on expertise and funds from multilateral intermediaries but this support plays into national institutional gaps e.g. path dependency and sectoral competition for funds to create implementation deficits. Efforts to avoid ‘institutional complexities’ in delivering carbon funds confine REDD+ activities within the State-based forestry sector but exclude key land use sectors such as lands and agriculture. This sectorial exclusion subdues cross-sectorial expertise required for REDD+ implementation but most importantly, fails to attend to underlying drivers of deforestation such as resettlement and agricultural mechanisation. Even though delivery of carbon and associated funds are emphasised at the global/national levels, local level implementation of the Kasigau project relies more on delivery of pro-poor livelihoods that keep the poor out of forests. Benefit sharing mechanism with regards to livelihoods is a key source of interplay between REDD+ design and on-ground implementation but this interplay is a source of certain institutional conflicts: first, the interplay complicates multilevel institutional arrangements for REDD+. For supporting local livelihood needs, the local community favourably perceives the private actor implementing the Kasigau project but negatively perceives State regimes that have historically monopolised local resource decisions and benefits. This raises concerns as to whether the State, as the legitimate representative of local communities’ interests in REDD+, can ably do so as expected by the UNFCCC. Second, the interplay elicits carbon-livelihood tension. Projects avoid investing/implementation within poor communities whose livelihood status could complicate delivery of carbon funds. Projects target relatively richer areas endowed with humid forest resources at 0.728; p<0.01, land title deeds at 0.552; p<0.01 and better access to water at 0.475; p<0.01. This raises concerns about emission leakage when deforestation shifts to forests hosted in poorer communities. Carbon-livelihood tension also renders equitable and pro-poor strategies in REDD+ ineffective. Strict carbon standards limit trade-offs between pro-poor livelihoods and forest protection especially when fluctuating carbon prices constrain funds needed for project operations and local livelihoods. This study presents one of the first multilevel scientific analyses of REDD+ and contributes empirical evidence to literature on REDD+ governance. It reveals that the main sources of REDD+ implementation deficits emanate from the global and national institutional processes. As such, ensuring equity and rights in REDD+ implementation is necessary but not sufficient for effective REDD+ implementation unless national level institutions are reformed and global carbon conditions and pricing harmonised with local livelihood needs.
Supervisor: Quinn, Claire Hellen ; Forster, Piers Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available