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REDD & local or regional authorities. Annelien van Meer, CREM 16 November 2011. Background: feasibility study 2008. City of Amsterdam and Province of Zuid-Holland wanted to investigate the possibilities to compensate CO2 emissions by REDD

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redd local or regional authorities

REDD & local or regional authorities

Annelien van Meer, CREM

16 November 2011



feasibility study 2008

  • City of Amsterdam and Province of Zuid-Holland wanted to investigate the possibilities to compensate CO2 emissions by REDD
  • CREM was commissioned to study the feasibility of this idea
  • Overview of outcomes:
    • Criteria for local authorities to participate in REDD need further development
    • Uncertain what amounts of CO2 need to be compensated

2010/2011: WWF’s initiative towards local & regional governments

  • Cancún: acknowledgement of cities’ role in climate policy (Mexico City Pact)
  • General trend: ongoing decentralization
  • 2011: International Year of the Forest. Momentum for a bottom-up initiative?
  • WWF commissioned CREM to make an inventory of the willingness of local and regional governments to cooperate with WWF in REDD

Goal of the inventory

  • Finding local or regional authorities that:
  • Do not want to wait for a global agreement on REDD;
  • Have ambitious policies in climate, biodiversity and the international area;
  • See the benefits of combining these ambitions;
  • Would like to take the lead or to be trendsetting towards other authorities.

The inventory

  • Set-up -> two rounds of inventorial discussions:
  • First round: VNG (+ VNG international), Klimaatverbond, IPO and UvW
  • Second round: individual local and regional authorities (Tilburg, Utrecht, Apeldoorn, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Eindhoven, provincie Noord-Brabant, provincie Utrecht)

Remarkable findings I

  • Totally different opinions on the involvement of local and regional authorities in REDD:
  • IPO: “Regional authorities are strictly bound to their own territory. They cannot invest in international projects”
  • Noord-Brabant: “We have a strong link with deforestation in Brazil because of the soy consumption of the meat industry within our territory. We feel the need to take our responsibility.”

Remarkable findings II

  • VNG: “International climate policies of local authorities are challenged by large budget cutbacks and the focus of local implementation.”
  • VNG International: “Millennium Local Authorities that focus on MDG 7 (70%) will certainly be interested.”
  • Utrecht: “We are planting our own climate compensation forest in Nicaragua.”
  • Apeldoorn: “We are absolutely restricted to investing within our own territory.”

An overview of the results I

  • Local authorities:
  • 2006 – 2010: the years of high ambitions, strategic plans, setting policy goals, etc.
  • 2010 – 2014: implementation! However:
    • Budget cutbacks
    • Political debate on ‘kerntaken’ (core responsibilities)
    • Political shifts in city councils

An overview of the results II

  • Difference between civil servant and political/administrative point of view;
  • Administrators are more hesitant in investments in REDD because of political pressure and criticism of citizens
    • City councils and administrators need to understand the relevance of international REDD projects -> communication and lobby!
    • There needs to be a link with awareness raising towards citizens.
  • Direct financing of REDD projects seems to be a bridge too far at this moment.


  • On the local and regional level, REDD has the strongest link with climate policies
    • Biodiversity policies are often non-existent or very limited
    • International policies face major cutbacks.
  • International aspects of local climate policy are not widely aknowledgedat the political/administrative level – more knowledge and advocacy is needed!


  • Find other financiers to cooperate with.
  • E.g. Make it possible to form PPPs – many of the interviewed local authorities were interested in working together with companies in REDD!
  • Find out which companies are willing to participate in such PPPs.


  • Local and regional governments want national government to take the lead -> how to match with national policy?
  • How can we communicate the relevance of REDD to local and regional governments (plus their political bodies)?
  • How can we involve citizens and the private sector in REDD?
  • What is the role of the REDD Platform in this?