Abstract (Extract)

This paper examines the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change mechanism Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+), and its associated multitude of global to local safeguards, as they apply to a single ejido on the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. It draws on written sources and interviews to analyze the ways in which broad international norms articulated through the REDD+ safeguards, including support for human rights and sustainable livelihoods for local communities, are translated at national, regional, and local levels. Our findings indicate a wide range of perspectives on what constitutes sustainability, from strict conservation to more forest use-oriented strategies, such as community forestry and traditional Mayan shifting cultivation. These visions, in turn, shape what types of REDD+ interventions are considered a good “environmental fit,” i.e., that fit the environmental problems they aim to address. Fits and misfits also occur between institutions, and play a core role in determining whose visions of sustainability prevail. We found a good fit in the case study ejido between REDD+ and the Payment for Ecosystem service (PES) scheme, which sets the parameters for what counts as “sustainable livelihoods” within a strict conservation paradigm.

community forest; free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC); governance; REDD+; safeguard

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