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Fariborz Zelli

Fariborz Zelli

Professor | Principal Investigator BECC

Fariborz Zelli

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in Peru: a challenge to social inclusion and multi-level governance


  • Fariborz Zelli
  • Daniela Erler
  • Sina Frank
  • Jonas-Ibrahim Hein
  • Hannes Hotz
  • Anna Maria Santa Cruz Melgarejo

Summary, in English

REDD is one of the latest additions to a series of incentive-based mechanisms for reducing carbon emissions. Although international negotiations have not eliminated uncertainties regarding its social, economic and political implications, many developing and emerging countries have begun to engage in REDD. Peru, the country with the world’s fourth largest tropical forest area has good reason to participate in REDD: deforestation currently causes about half of Peru’s annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
In the last eight years, public and private actors across scales have undertaken various initiatives – resulting in a multi-level governance patchwork with top-down and bottom-up processes and institutions that operate in parallel. Our study addresses this hotchpotch and its challenges to key aspects of good governance.

First, we mapped Peru’s complex REDD governance architecture and the role of major stakeholders. At the national level, we scrutinized Peru’s readiness preparation proposal (R–PP) and its plan for the Forest Investment Programme (FIP), the REDD stakeholders roundtable, decentralization of forest-related competencies, and the dif cult birth of new national laws on forests and full, prior and informed consent (FPIC). At the regional level, the study focuses on the two key regions of San Martín and Madre de Dios, mapping their most important forest policies and forms of stakeholder self- organization. Finally, we investigated four pilot projects with very different legal status that re ect the broad scope of REDD projects in Peru.

Second, we conducted a stakeholder-based assessment of different dimensions of social inclusion in Peruvian REDD governance. Despite the exibility offered by the numerous processes, we found areas that need improvement. In some cases these are merely teething problems; others are deeply rooted in socio-economic imbalances and political culture. The challenges include: the insuf cient nancial, technical and human capacities of ministries and regional governments; a legitimacy gap due to the dominance of certain NGOs and companies; information and participation asymmetries of forest users in REDD projects, which can cause social tension; insuf cient consideration of informal settlers; and insecurity regarding the distribution of REDD revenues among investors, NGOs and forest users.

Third, we introduce and discuss options for addressing some of these challenges, including:
• Streamlining REDD processes with policies from other sectors such as agriculture and mining, and improving spatial planning;
• Formalizing channels of communication and consultation to ensure fair and equal opportunities for exchanges between civil society and the ministries;
• Establishing an independent entity as part of a multi-stakeholder safeguard information system (SIS) that will frequently provide forest users with in-depth information about REDD processes and help users to develop their own ideas about REDD;
• Integrating forest users – not just as bene ciaries but rather as co-implementers of REDD projects;
• Encompassing push and pull factors, for example, through a levy that channels a portion of REDD revenues towards eradicating poverty in the Andean highlands in an effort to stem migration into forested areas.

REDD can only be as socially inclusive as the political, legal and social systems in which it is implemented. In Peru, this implies enhancing the overarching policies of social inclusion in the country, disentangling land titles and their governance, and improving mechanisms for veri cation and enforcement.


  • Department of Political Science
  • BECC: Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate

Publishing year




Document type



German Development Institute


  • Political Science



Research group

  • Miljöpolitik