BOOK REVIEW: Forests and Climate Change: The Social Dimensions of REDD in Latin America. Hall, Anthony. 2012. Edgar Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham UK and Northampton MA, USA.
Professor Anthony Hall presents an excellent analysis of REDD+ social dimensions, including detailed discussions of the roles of governance and institutional choices, nesting, economics (learning from PES, conditional cash transfers etc), and livelihoods -- all aspects essential for REDD+ to raise the bar to achieve social development and carbon sequestration in diverse circumstances, rather than opting for the lower bar of incorporating social concerns into blueprint approaches aiming to prevent REDD+ harms through social safeguards.
The book opens by laying out the background on conservation and REDD+, and then presents a critical, even-handed analysis of Latin American regional REDD+ activities through 2011. The second part of the book (50 pages) is dedicated to the analysis of social side of REDD+, and makes concrete recommendations for ways that REDD+ design and implementation could achieve social development in diverse circumstances. While the cases discussed come from Latin America, the analysis is relevant to all regions of the world.
If you only have time to read one publication on the social dimensions of REDD+ in the next two months, I recommend you get a copy of this new short book which is excellent, well-written, and easy to read. Everyone who reads this book will come away with a deepened understanding of the REDD+ promise, the challenges to REDD+ success, and the paths by which the REDD+ promise might be achieved in diverse situations.
Janis B. Alcorn, Chair, CEESP Theme on Governance, Equity & Rights (TGER)