REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation): Mitigation, Adaptation and the Resilience of Local Livelihoods
This paper discusses the policy and implementation context of the REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) demonstration activity in Ulu Masen in the province of Aceh, Indonesia. It is argued that the slow endorsement of the demonstration activity by the Indonesian government may be due to mistiming in relation to the regulations on REDD projects and to diverging interpretations of the law that grants special status to the province of Aceh on the management of forests. In spite of a number of measures designed to curb legal and illegal logging and improve local livelihoods, the project faces challenges such as effectively reducing the demand for timber for reconstruction purposes in Aceh. If the demand for timber continues unabated, it is likely that leakage (the possibility that the attempt to reduce emissions in Ulu Masen may lead to increased emissions elsewhere) will become a problem. It is also observed that while the proponents of this project have undertaken consultations at different levels, there is still a need to improve consultations with local communities on the design and implementation of the project to ensure local understanding – and ownership – of the project’s goals and activities.