Forests and carbon sequestration have become fundamental themes in climate change mitigation. The idea of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) has generated significant interest in forest governance from United Nations (UN) climate strategies over the past decade. REDD+ was initially hailed as a smart and cost-effective way to mitigate climate change. As it is rolling out, ambiguities and controversies are increasingly surfacing to the stakeholders at different levels. Examining the forest governance of Nepal in detail, this research examines how relationships between national and local forest actors have changed, and how REDD+ discourses have evolved among them at the interface between global interests in carbon commodification on one hand, and local realities of community forestry on the other hand. To better understand these competing positions, the study uses a post-structural political ecology perspective with elements of discourse analysis. Using data from interviews with policy actors and members of three local community forest user groups, focus group discussions, policy event observations, and document reviews, this paper highlights how global forest carbon commodification has been affecting community forestry governance. It also illustrates different storylines that actors employ to influence policy discourse and REDD+ debates, indicating a considerable range of problem definitions and policy solutions of climate change among the actors. The analysis highlights the connection between power relationships and the evolution of discourses surrounding REDD+, and how an external discourse can reinforce or challenge local governance and the centralization of forest authority. As such, the research also offers a new application of discursive storylines to climate change discourse analysis across national and local scales. The findings emphasize the importance of a more open and transparent dialogue across Nepal’s forest governance and management levels to ensure actual benefits for healthy forests, strong communities, and effective climate change mitigation. Nepal's findings also suggest highly relevant lessons to other developing countries with significant community forest governance, and a strong planned focus on REDD+.


  • Forests and carbon sequestration have become fundamental themes in climate change governance.Since the Bali Action Plan (2007), Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) has gained significant influence on how forests are viewed and governed in developing countries [1] and REDD+ has been considered as a game changer shifting forests into the center of global climate change politics [2]

  • To understand the competing positions within climate change mitigation, carbon trading, and forest governance, this paper adopts a post-structural political ecology perspective [28] that draws on elements of discourse analysis [23,25]

  • The respondents who believe in the safeguards storyline contend that REDD+ can be compatible with existing community forestry if strong safeguards are put in place, as noted below: If we focus on climate change mitigation, we should only emphasize on carbon

Read more



Forests and carbon sequestration have become fundamental themes in climate change governance. Not least because the success of REDD+ implementation is vitally linked to the local knowledge, support and stake In this light, this research uses a multi-scale case study of forest governance to examine how actors emerged at national and local levels and how REDD+ discourses have evolved among them at the interface of global interests in carbon commodification vis-à-vis the local realities of community forestry. Nepal represents an interesting case with its long history of multiple stakeholder involvement in forest management at different levels, strong local forest governance, and a range of actors and diverse perspectives that challenge, and review, fundamental and unresolved conflicts of REDD+ between global paradigms and local practices. In responding to the knowledge gap with respect to national REDD+ policy discourses, the section discusses the theoretical perspective to the political construction of REDD+ discourses and storylines among different actors. Storylines are connected with broader meta-discourses and how these discursive dynamics could influence the REDD+ policy process at the national level

Theoretical Perspectives
Methodological Approach
Actors and Their Changing Role in Nepal’s Forestry Sector
Cost Effective
Carbon Commodification
Governance Reform
Carbon Surrogacy

Full Text

Published Version
Open DOI Link

Get access to 115M+ research papers

Discover from 40M+ Open access, 2M+ Pre-prints, 9.5M Topics and 32K+ Journals.

Sign Up Now! It's FREE

Talk to us

Join us for a 30 min session where you can share your feedback and ask us any queries you have

Schedule a call