Discussion Paper

REDD in Design Assessment of Planned First-Generation Activities in Indonesia

Dec 3, 2009 | Erin Myers Madeira


Much of the guidance about potential impacts of reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) speculates how efforts would be implemented and draws lessons from other mechanisms, such as payments for ecosystem services (PES). However, with few REDD activities underway, little evidence indicates whether REDD projects are meeting these expectations. This article examines 17 REDD interventions under development in Indonesia, reports trends in project design, and assesses the extent to which interventions follow the model of pro-poor PES schemes. I find that a dominant type of REDD intervention follows a concession model and seeks to prevent large-scale conversion to plantations by outside actors. Although these projects fit the definition of PES at the scale at which the environmentalservice is transacted, PES characteristics are not a primary component of on-the-ground implementation. Small-holder actors are recognized as essential to the long-term success of the intervention, but are not the main focus.