Climate Change Governance in Megadiverse Countries: The Case of REDD+ in Latin America

By Alicia Guzmán León.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

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Published online: May 12, 2016 $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

There are seventeen countries that host 70% of the planet’s biodiversity and 45% of its population: the megadiverse countries. Six of the world’s megadiverse nations are in Latin America. Carbon stocks, biodiversity, and the life of millions of inhabitants are at risk due to high deforestation rates in the region. Furthermore, the economic and political stability of most Latin-American states depend on extractive practices. At a world-wide level, land use change, including deforestation, accounts for nearly 20% of total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Since 2006, the UNFCCC financial mechanism to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) has implemented close to 150 initiatives in Latin-American megadiverse countries. REDD+ has a high potential to become the climate change mechanism to transform deforestation trends and to make biodiversity an actual source of income for megadiverse countries. These six states are the priority target of REDD+ donations in the region. However, in contrast to mainstream theorists who have labeled transnational governance as the brand of climate change, REDD+ proves otherwise. Traditional hierarchical North-South inter-national relations mark the rhythm and governance of this mechanism. Furthermore, a shift from multilateral efforts to bilateralism is evident as they currently represent 89% of total REDD+ flows and 80% of climate finances in the region. The risk of bilateralism is that ODA depends on the political priorities of the donor and recipient countries alike, becoming a potential threat to REDD+ sustainability. This paper examines each of the programs and projects accounted as REDD+ between 2006 and 2020. The goal is to define the financial flows corresponding to each of the countries analyzed, and moreover, the governance model resulting from these interventions. This article starts with an overview of the regional deforestation evolution and the climate change responses registered in this period in Latin America followed by the influxes of REDD+ in the region and an analysis by each megadiverse country. The results have been contrasted with governance categories developed by different authors. The purpose is to state the governance model promoted by REDD+ in Latin-American megadiverse countries and its implications.

Keywords: Governance, Financial Mechanisms, REDD+, Climate Finances, Megadiverse Countries, Latin America, Regional Studies

International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 8, Issue 3, September 2016, pp.61-80. Published online: May 12, 2016 (Article: Print (Spiral Bound)). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 833.104KB).

Alicia Guzmán León

PhD Student-CONACYT Scholar, Tec de Monterrey, Mexico City, Federal District, Mexico


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