Sumernet

Researching national REDD+ strategies in Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand: An update

REDD+ team posed together at the writing workshop in Phnom Penh, August 2015. (Photo by REDD+ Project)

Our research consortium has been collecting data on the national REDD+ strategy development process in Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand.

By Pheakkdey Nguon

Similar to other natural resources, tropical forests have been under increasing pressure from human activities especially commercial logging, expansion of cash crops and roads, and infrastructure development. The decline in forested areas has also negatively affected the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities. Increasing recognition of these issues has resulted in growing attention given to forest conservation in international arenas and conventions including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Starting in 2005, within the context of climate adaptation and mitigation discussions, the parties to the UNFCCC have been actively negotiating a policy initiative that entails the development and implementation of activities for mitigating climate change mitigation through forestry activities. This initiative is known as REDD+, stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, and (+) the role of sustainable management of forests, conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries. REDD+ has been implemented at various stages in countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

In phase 3 of SUMERNET, our academic research consortium has been collecting data on the national REDD+ strategy development process in Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand.

The consortium consists of Royal University of Phnom Penh, University of Forestry at Yezin, and Kasetsart University. The main objective of this research project is to document insights for REDD+ policymakers in Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand on how policy barriers can be overcome and opportunities seized to implement key components of national REDD+ strategies or action plans in order to ensure effective, efficient and equitable REDD+ implementation in their countries.

As of June 1, 2015, we have conducted over 50 interviews and attended more than 20 policy observations. All three teams have also been collecting, collating and analyzing archival materials including past and current policies, laws and regulations that are related to the development of the national REDD+ strategy in the three countries. The team is planning to conduct a multi-stakeholder consultative meeting in their respective country on the three research questions with the different groups of stakeholders identified earlier. The data collection process is to be completed by August 1, 2015 followed by a writing workshop for the three teams on August 5-6, 2015, at the Royal University of Phnom Penh. The main items on this meeting agenda include: data analysis protocol and outlines for our written outcomes, which at this stage primarily contain a book chapter for SUMERNET, two journal manuscripts, three policy briefs, and some news articles.