Heterogeneity of experts' opinion regarding opportunities and challenges of tackling deforestation in the tropics: a Q methodology application

Nijnik, Maria; Nijnik, Albert; Bergsma, Emmy; Matthews, Robin
August 2014
Mitigation & Adaptation Strategies for Global Change;Aug2014, Vol. 19 Issue 6, p621
Academic Journal
Making the concept of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) ready to be a mechanism to combat tropical deforestation and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by compensating developing countries for income foregone in reducing their rates of deforestation, requires solutions for outstanding controversies. Existing opinions on REDD+ vary greatly. By using the Q-method as part of an action research approach, this paper investigates experts' attitudes towards REDD+. Based on their responses to 41 statements, four attitudinal groups were identified, characterized as pragmatists, sceptics, conventionalists and optimists. Opinions between groups differed as to the level of application, credibility, eligibility, economic effectiveness, and public acceptability of REDD+ policy instruments. Three of the four groups were supportive of international REDD+ type policy interventions, but there was disagreement on the more concrete design issues of REDD+ projects, such as the allocation of responsibilities, the distribution of burdens and benefits, and whether or not co-benefits could be expected, or should be required. As the potential of REDD+ is shaped not only by international climate policy but also by national and regional policies and stakeholder perceptions, this paper suggests that participatory forms of decision-making may help to develop tailor-made solutions that are supported by the many different actors that are necessarily involved in REDD+ projects.


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