Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Resources and Rules of the Game: Participation of Civil Society in REDD+ and FLEGT-VPA Processes in Lao PDR

Version 1 : Received: 14 February 2017 / Approved: 15 February 2017 / Online: 15 February 2017 (15:27:21 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Mustalahti, I.; Cramm, M.; Ramcilovic‐Suominen, S.; Tegegne, Y.T. Resources and Rules of the Game: Participation of  Civil Society in REDD+ and FLEGT‐VPA Processes in  Lao PDR. Forests 2017, 8, 50. Mustalahti, I.; Cramm, M.; Ramcilovic‐Suominen, S.; Tegegne, Y.T. Resources and Rules of the Game: Participation of  Civil Society in REDD+ and FLEGT‐VPA Processes in  Lao PDR. Forests 2017, 8, 50.

Journal reference: Forests 2017, 8, 50
DOI: 10.3390/f8020050

Abstract

REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) aims to achieve its purpose by working across multiple sectors and involving multi-level actors in reducing deforestation and forest degradation in tropical countries. By contrast, the European Union (EU) Action Plan on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) and its Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) focus on forestry and functions at bilateral state level. The FLEGT Action Plan specifically aims to tackle illegal logging, legalise timber production and trade improve forest governance in countries exporting tropical timber to the EU. Since illegal logging is just one driver of deforestation and forest degeneration, and legalisation of logging does not necessarily reduce deforestation and forest degradation, the two instruments differ in scale and scope. However, by addressing the causes of deforestation and forest degradation and their underlying governance issues, the EU FLEGT and REDD+ share many functional linkages at higher levels of forest policy and forest governance. The contribution and participation of civil society organisations (CSOs) and other actors is imperative to both processes. Our study is based on a survey of key actors (national and international) in REDD+ and FLEGT VPA processes in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Our analysis was guided by the theoretical perspectives of the policy arrangement approach and examination of two specific dimensions of this approach, namely resources and rules of the game. This paper argues that participation of CSOs in both processes is crucial as it facilitates and nurtures the very much needed cooperation between other national and international actors. The paper also argues that participation of CSOs feeds valuable information and knowledge into REDD+ and FLEGT VPA processes, thus contributing to increased legitimacy, justice and transparency.

Subject Areas

REDD+; FLEGT VPA; civil society organisations; participation; resources; rules of the game; Policy Arrangement Approach; Lao PDR

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