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Advocacy coalitions, REDD+, and forest governance in Papua New Guinea: how likely is transformational change?

Andrea Babon, Charles Darwin University; Center for International Forestry Research
Daniel McIntyre, Center for International Forestry Research
Gae Y. Gowae, University of Papua New Guinea
Caleb Gallemore, Northeastern Illinois University; Center for International Forestry Research
Rachel Carmenta, Center for International Forestry Research
Monica Di Gregorio, University of Leeds, School of Earth and Environment; Center for International Forestry Research
Maria Brockhaus, Center for International Forestry Research

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-06486-190316

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Abstract

Tropical forests in developing countries are increasingly being valued for their role in carbon sequestration. Such interest is reflected in the emergence of international initiatives for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). REDD+ requires addressing both tropical forests as complex social-ecological systems and the multiple sectors involved in tropical forest resources, which may necessitate transformational change away from business-as-usual approaches to forest governance. We studied the potential for REDD+ to mobilize an influential coalition of actors promoting transformational change in forest governance in Papua New Guinea (PNG), a leading proponent of REDD+ internationally. Combining policy network approaches with the advocacy coalition framework, we identified four advocacy coalitions in the REDD+ policy domain in PNG and estimated the influence of each coalition. We found the most influential advocacy coalition is promoting the status quo rather than governance reforms capable of reducing deforestations and forest degradation, leading us to suggest that business as usual is the dominant perspective in the REDD+ policy domain in PNG. This may explain why, despite the large amount of REDD+ rhetoric, there has been only modest change in formal policy or practice in PNG to date. However, we did find influential coalitions calling for transformational change. Although these are currently minority coalitions, we identified several pathways through which they could increase their power to realize transformational change

Key words

advocacy coalition framework; advocacy coalitions; forest governance; Papua New Guinea; REDD+; transformational change

Copyright © 2014 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article  is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.  You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087