Implementing REDD+ at both the national and international levels requires a diversity of policies and policy instruments. These must be designed and chosen avoiding as much as possible prejudice resulting from the use of terms. In this respect, we wish to convey several key messages to policy makers:
- Reducing deforestation and securing funding to this end will no doubt require tapping into a diversity of instruments at all levels, yet being aware of their specific area of relevance and recognising their limitations: for instance direct markets or certification at international level, fiscal measures at national level, Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) at local level.
- “Market-based approaches” as mentioned in Decision 2/CP.17 in Durban should not be interpreted in a restrictive way as carbon markets; indeed these approaches cover a large field that includes also various types of incentives for conservation (e.g. direct payment schemes and the vast range of PES).
- In practice, the opposition between market and non-market approaches becomes shaky, and does not necessarily correspond to the opposition between private and public funding of REDD+; this could be mitigated in the political debate by agreeing on references to clear definitions.
- Beyond terminology issues, research is required to contribute to an understanding of well-identified instruments with similar characteristics, in order to move beyond ideology to more informed views and evidence-based discussions in the REDD+ negotiations