Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Results-Based Conservation Aid: Amazon Fund 10 Years Later, Lessons from the World's Largest REDD+ Program

Version 1 : Received: 27 December 2018 / Approved: 28 December 2018 / Online: 28 December 2018 (04:00:22 CET)
Version 2 : Received: 12 February 2019 / Approved: 13 February 2019 / Online: 13 February 2019 (09:59:35 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Correa, J.; van der Hoff, R.; Rajão, R. Amazon Fund 10 Years Later: Lessons from the World’s Largest REDD+ Program. Forests 2019, 10, 272. Correa, J.; van der Hoff, R.; Rajão, R. Amazon Fund 10 Years Later: Lessons from the World’s Largest REDD+ Program. Forests 2019, 10, 272.

Journal reference: Forests 2019, 10, 272
DOI: 10.3390/f10030272

Abstract

Results-Based Aid (RBA) for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) has become an important instrument for channeling financial resources to forest conservation activities. At the same time, much literature on conservation aid is ambiguous about the effectiveness of existing RBA schemes. Many effectiveness evaluations follow a principal-agent model, although in practice the relation between aid providers and aid recipients is much more complex. As a consequence, intermediary steps of conservation aid are often not accounted for in aid effectiveness studies. This research paper aims to provide a nuanced understanding of conservation aid by analyzing the allocation of financial resources for one of the largest RBA schemes for REDD+ in the world: the Brazilian Amazon Fund. As part of this analysis, this study has built a dataset of information on Amazon Fund projects at unprecedented detail in order to accurately reconstruct the allocation of financial resources across different stakeholders, geographies and activities. The results show that stakeholders seem to hold preferences with respect to the type of activities that they support, thereby suggesting that project owners exert much influence on how deforestation reduction is to be attained. There are evidences that governmental organizations lack financial additionality of their projects, which renders stakeholder influence on conservation aid effectiveness particularly worrisome. By contrast, the geographical distribution of financial resources seemed to follow a more focused rationale as financial support tends to concentrate in areas where deforestation threats are highest. Overall, the allocation of the financial resources from the Amazon Fund reflects an arbitrary support of different projects that adopt very diverging theories of change that are not primarily concerned with attaining further deforestation reductions. As projects owners exert influence on aid effectiveness to some extent, the Amazon Fund may either seek to regulate the allocation of financial resources more actively or adopt aid effectiveness evaluations that account for this influence more comprehensively.

Subject Areas

REDD+; Amazon fund; results-based aid; benefit distribution; resource allocation; aid effectiveness; conservation aid

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