New Study Examines the Role of Local Governance Institutions in Tackling Corruption Risks in REDD+ in Latin America and the Caribbean
REDD+ may help reduce corruption in the forest sector if the issue is adequately addressed and local governance institutions empowered.
There is little evidence that climate change is explicitly on the sub-national policy agenda in most Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries. Yet this topic is made increasingly relevant due to both national REDD+ processes and the decentralization process through which sub-national governments are beginning to assume broader democratic governance responsibilities and strategic competencies.
A new study, titled ”Local Governance, Anti-corruption and REDD+ in Latin America : Exploring synergies to strengthen Transparency and Accountability” developed as a collaboration between the UNDP Democratic Governance Practice Area at the Regional Services Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean (in Panama) and the UN-REDD Programme, seeks to initiate thinking and dialogue on the role of local governance institutions in tackling corruption risks in REDD+.
The study draws specific recommendations for building the necessary capacity in the REDD+ context, and provides a rapid analysis of how local governance and corruption are treated in existing UN-REDD National Programme documents in LAC. The overarching message is that REDD+ may involve new and specific corruption risks especially at the sub-national level, but may ultimately help reduce corruption in the forest sector if the issue is adequately addressed and local governance institutions empowered.
Last year’s “Staying on Track: Tackling Corruption risks in Climate Change” (now updated to reflect recent REDD+ developments) included a recommendation to examine the specific role of local governance institutions. The new local governance, anti –corruption and REDD+ in LAC” study take this recommendation forward by first highlighting corruption vulnerabilities at the local level and examining two case studies in Brazil and Bolivia. From there lessons and good practices are extracted, including in the areas of social monitoring, participation of local communities in forest management including decision-making processes and monitoring, and transparency in public finance and spending.
The study, which is also available in Spanish, was first released during the Third Meeting of the Anti-Corruption Community of Practice (COP) in Latin America and the Caribbean: “Mainstreaming Transparency and Accountability to Strengthen Democratic Governance and Reduce Inequality” organized at the beginning of September by the Democratic Governance Practice Area/UNDP Regional Center for Latin America and the Caribbean in the context of its Transparency and Accountability in Local Governments Regional Initiative (TRAALOG). On this occasion, strategic inputs were gathered from the UNDP anti-corruption community in LAC, providing practical guidance on effective measures and entry points to tackle corruption risks in REDD+.
|Local governments: can be defined as formal institutions mandated to deliver a variety of public goods and services at the sub-national level.
|Local governance: refers to the ways in which local level decision-making is carried out, subject to the scrutiny and oversight of citizens open and transparent, rule-bound and participatory.
|Local governance institutions: vary from country to country, but generally include governments (municipal, state, provincial, community) and a variety of other special purpose institutions (such as for water, health and education).