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First REDD Textbook – Forest and Climate Change: The Social Dimensions of REDD in Latin America – Book Review

Rainforest in Borneo. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.
Rainforest in Borneo. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.

Thank you Professor Anthony Hall.

After many years, we finally have a REDD textbook that can be used in the undergraduate and graduate classroom.

Professor Hall has produced an excellent contribution to the growing Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) literature. He has written both a foundational analysis of the concepts underpinning REDD with a detailed history of REDD-similar activities spanning almost a half century followed by a discussion of the socio-economic frameworks of current REDD practices in Latin America.

Each chapter succinctly addresses relevant underlying REDD topics. For example, in Chapter 2, Professor Hall’s analysis of the historical sources of REDD, from the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in 1972 attended by 113 nations to more recent events such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2010 in Cancun, Mexico, including a detailed financial analysis of possible sources of funds to support REDD, is the ideal text to support a classroom lecture. Professor Hall has written about REDD in an easy to understand manner that could be simply digested by non-content experts. With thorough endnotes and up-to-date citations, his work provides the best historical context analysis of REDD that is easily available to a wider audience.

In later chapters, Professor Hall asks us to consider that without a sound socio-economic backbone, REDD will not become an effective activity to mitigate climate change. He describes the need that throughout the agriculture frontier, rural communities and indigenous groups socio-economic structures, if they choose, should be the foundation of REDD activities.

Expanding upon Professor Hall’s framework to include a financial vertebra to the socio-economic backbone he describes may strengthen the effectiveness of REDD climate change mitigation efforts in these same communities. It would behoove the REDD community to support a conversation facilitated by Professor Hall’s textbook to review what does financial efficiency and effectiveness look like, from financial accounting ratios and taxation impacts to financial performance presentation frameworks and economic distribution models all incorporating REDD funding.

Through this discussion, the broader REDD community could learn how REDD could possibly impact local tax revenue, community financial soundness, local entrepreneurial activities such as technical REDD consulting, equity generation models individuals, institutions, and communities, and many other highly relevant financial questions. These financial framework questions are relevant for both REDD funding mechanisms that include carbon offset generation and REDD funding mechanisms that do not include carbon offset generation. In both contexts, REDD program and/or project financial soundness are an important criteria for any funder, whether grantor, government, institution, individual or capital markets.

Let’s support future researchers to build upon Professor Hall’s excellent REDD textbook to thoroughly examine and describe the financial criteria of an effective REDD program and project.

How to order:

Forest and Climate Change: The Social Dimensions of REDD in Latin America

Hardcover: 213 pages

Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc.

ISBN, hardcover: 978-1-84980-282-6

ISBB, ebook: 978-1-84980-611-4

Author: Professor Anthony Hall, London School of Economics and Political Science

Author’s Website: Click here

Gabriel Thoumi, CFA is a frequent contributor to

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