Implementing REDD+ at the national level: Stakeholder engagement and policy coherences between REDD+ rules and Kenya's sectoral policies

Elsevier, Forest Policy and Economics, Volume 65, April 01, 2016
Atela J.O., Quinn C.H., Minang P.A., Duguma L.A., Houdet J.A.
Effective implementation of rules on reduced emission from avoided deforestation and forest degradation (REDD. +) depends on the compatibility between these rules and existing sectoral policies associated with forests. This paper applies content analysis of policy documents, semi-structured interviews and case study analysis to examine the interplay between REDD. + rules and Kenyan sectorial policies and local socioeconomic settings. Results reveal that the preparation of national REDD. + strategies in Kenya is usefully coordinated by the Kenyan forestry sector drawing on the sector's policy mandate and past experiences in forest management. This sectoral mainstreaming however degenerates into negative vertical policy interplay caused by poor consultations with key sectors outside the forestry sector e.g. lands and agriculture and is further exacerbated by sectoral competition for climate finance. Analysis of REDD. + coherences with sectoral policies revealed that forest polices on reforestation and decentralisation are coherent with REDD. + rules (horizontal interplay) but this coherence is impeded by limited implementation of these measures e.g. poor support and coordination of Community Forest Associations. Lack of coherence was mainly observed between REDD. + rules and resettlement and agricultural mechanisation policies prescribed in the lands and agriculture policies. Agricultural mechanisation and resettlement policies are synonymous with deforestation especially through illegal and politically motivated agricultural or settlement expansions into Kenya's forest areas. At the local level, REDD. + showed potential to positively influence local livelihoods but the aforementioned national institutional gaps and strict carbon standards and prices lead to negative trade-offs between carbon sequestration and alternative livelihoods. The paper advocates for strong multi-stakeholder consultative mechanism so that both Kenyan policy and socioeconomic settings can support effective REDD. + implementation.