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REDD+SCIENCE+GOVERNANCE: Opportunities and Challenges

When Apr 10, 2012 01:00 AM to
Apr 13, 2012 01:00 AM
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Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) is a relatively new climate change mitigation option. It is widely seen as a promising win-win strategy to simultaneously deal with the global challenge of climate change and worldwide deforestation and forest degradation. However, many remain sceptical about the desirability and effectiveness of REDD+ and there are still many technical, social and political challenges in designing and implementing REDD+. Moreover, concerns exist about REDD+’s impacts on other values of forests such as biodiversity and local livelihoods.

This post-graduate course focuses on these challenges and concerns from an interdisciplinary perspective. Through a set of interactive lectures, discussions and group-work assignments,  participants from all over the world have the opportunity to expand their knowledge and understanding of current REDD+ debates, different scientific perspectives on REDD+, and the actual implementation of REDD+ activities from both a theoretical and practical perspective.

The course is designed for post-graduates who are doing their research on or are working in the field of REDD+. The course is open to PhD candidates, fellows, post-docs and other young academics and professionals. The course is particularly relevant for PhD candidates, as participants will be encouraged to link the acquired knowledge and skills on REDD+ research, practice, theory and methodology to their own research. Participants should be post-graduates with an MSc title in a relevant discipline, have prior knowledge of REDD+ issues, and be competent in English.


A broad range of cutting-edge topics related to REDD+ will be covered:

  • History, political negotiations, governance, and design of REDD+ arrangements;
  • Actors involved in REDD+, from global organisations and institutions to local levels;
  • The technical and political challenges of establishing adequate, legitimate and inclusive REDD+ measuring, reporting and verification systems (MRV);
  • How co-benefits, synergies and safeguards can be included in evolving REDD+ arrangements for climate mitigation;
  • REDD+ in a broader context, i.e. how REDD+ relates to forest certification and forest management, payment for ecosystem services, and carbon markets;  and
  • REDD+ finance and economics.


The post-graduate course is part of a week-long set of activities at Wageningen University focused on REDD+, beginning with a REDD+ symposium, open to the public, with prominent scholars and practitioners as keynote speakers. Parallel to the post-graduate course there is an authors’ workshop to discuss a forthcoming special issue on REDD+ in the journal Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. These activities are organised together to enable exchange among the participants of all events.

This course is an initiative of the recently established REDD@WUR network (, which facilitates the exchange of knowledge and networking related to REDD+ within and beyond Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR). About 60 scientists from WUR are actively engaged in REDD+ research, including more than 20 PhD candidates. They cover disciplines related to forest governance, environmental policy, forest management, remote sensing and carbon monitoring, earth system science, and ecosystem services.

Learning outcomes:

After completion of the course, participants will have:

Broader knowledge of cutting-edge REDD+ research fields;

A better understanding of negotiations and key debates on REDD+;

  • The ability to critically reflect on REDD+ research;
  • Knowledge on combining natural and social scientific methodologies for REDD+ research;
  • Familiarity with important theories to analyse REDD+;
  • The ability to develop policy options for REDD+ to address its many challenges;
  • In addition, participants will profit from being able to expand their network of academics and practitioners working in the field of REDD+ all over the world.


More information:

There is a fee payable to attend this course.

Please see the course website (link below) for full details. Deadline for registration is Friday 30 March 2012.

An initiative of the REDD@WUR network (

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