EfD research on REDD+ discussed at UNITAR - Yale conference
Daniel Slunge, Policy Analyst at the Environmental Economics Unit, University of Gothenburg, was invited speaker at the second Conference on Environmental Governance and Democracy: Strengthening Institutions to Address Climate Change and Advance a Green Economy, organized by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and Yale University, 17-19 September 2010.
The conference was held at Yale University, New Haven, USA. Approximately 150 researchers, policy makers and governance practitioners from countries and organizations around the world attended to inventory and examine the role of institutional structures and decision making procedures in fostering (or impeding) low carbon and climate resilient development and advancing a green economy.
Key note speakers included Rajendra K. Pachauri, chairman of IPCC, Ben Cashore, Professor of Environmental Governance and Political Science, Yale and Pavan Sukdev, head of UNEP Green Economy Initiative.
Daniel Slunge discussed the potential contribution of Strategic Environmental Social Assessment (SESA) to REDD+ initiatives drawing on experiences from earlier attempts to large scale forestry sector reforms and a recent World Bank pilot program on SEA. Slunge is one of the authors of the article Can Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of REDD+ improve policy making and forest governance? Lessons learned from the World Bank pilot program on SEA in policy and sector reform. He spoke on behalf of his co-authors, including Anders Ekbom (University of Gothenburg) Fernando Loayza (Environment Department, World Bank), Paul Guthiga and Wilfred Nyangena (both from Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis, Kenya).
"We suggest that SESA can be a useful approach for strengthening institutions and governance needed for managing diverse environmental and social impacts related to REDD+. More specifically, SESA can enhance policy making and governance through raising attention to environmental and social priorities, strengthening constituencies for policy change and improving social accountability", says Daniel Slunge.
In order for SESA to contribute to these outcomes it needs to be assured that broad national “ownership” is achieved and that it becomes part of a long-term policy learning process with repeated and sustained stakeholder interaction. Through strengthening constituencies for policy change SESA can potentially reduce the risk of regulatory capture of REDD+ by vested interests.
An analysis of Kenya´s process of preparing a national REDD+ strategy is used to illustrate the case in the paper.
For more information, please see the conference web page http://conference.unitar.org/yale/home