Preprint Article Version 1 NOT YET PEER-REVIEWED

REDD+ in West Africa: Politics of Design and Implementation in Ghana and Nigeria

  1. Department of Development Studies, SOAS, University of London, London WC1E 7HU, UK
  2. Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1TN, UK
  3. Department of Geography, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
  4. Department of Geography Zaria, Ahmadu Bello University, Kaduna, Nigeria
Version 1 : Received: 28 November 2016 / Approved: 28 November 2016 / Online: 28 November 2016 (04:44:40 CET)

How to cite: Asiyanbi, A.; Arhin, A.; Isyaku, U. REDD+ in West Africa: Politics of Design and Implementation in Ghana and Nigeria. Preprints 2016, 2016110141 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201611.0141.v1). Asiyanbi, A.; Arhin, A.; Isyaku, U. REDD+ in West Africa: Politics of Design and Implementation in Ghana and Nigeria. Preprints 2016, 2016110141 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201611.0141.v1).

Abstract

This paper analyses the design and implementation of REDD+ in the West African region, an important global biodiversity area. Drawing on in-depth interviews, analysis of policy documents and observation of everyday activities, we sought to understand how REDD+ has been designed and implemented in Nigeria and Ghana. We draw on tools from political ecology to examine how, and why REDD+ takes the form it does in these countries. We focus on three key dimensions that emerged as strong areas of common emphasis in our case studies -- capacity building, carbon visibility, and property rights. First, we show that, while REDD+ design generally foregrounds an ostensible inclusionary politics, its implementation is driven through various forms of exclusion. This contradictory inclusion-exclusion politics, which is partly emblematic of the neoliberal provenance of the REDD+ policy, is also a contingent reality and a strategy for navigating complexities and pursuing certain interests. Second, we show that though the emergent foci of REDD+ implementation in our case studies align with global REDD+ expectations, they yet manifest as historically and geographically contingent processes that reflect negotiated and contested relations among actors that constitute the specific national circumstance of each country. We conclude by reflecting on the wider implications of these findings for understanding REDD+ implementation more broadly.

Subject Areas

REDD+; climate change; forests; Ghana; Nigeria; West Africa; political ecology

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