Subnational Jurisdictional Approaches: Policy Innovations and Partnerships for Change

This chapter from the book “Transforming REDD+: Lessons and new directions” highlights how jurisdictional approaches (JAs) to sustainable development seek to protect forests, reduce emissions, and improve livelihoods and other social, environmental and economic dimensions across entire governmental territories: states, provinces, districts, counties and other political administrative units.

The study explored 39 subnational jurisdictions across 12 countries, which together contain 28% of the world’s tropical forests, and found that all had made formal commitments to reducing deforestation. Most (38 of 39) had also taken concrete actions to implement these pledges. The majority of these sampled jurisdictions have developed and implemented integrated jurisdictional strategies, robust jurisdiction-wide multistakeholder processes, and quantifiable, time-bound targets that define their vision of sustainability – despite a scarcity of international climate finance to support these and other interventions.

Annual deforestation decreased between 2012 and 2017 in just under half of jurisdictions (17 of 39), although any links between actions taken by subnational governments and observed trends in deforestation are yet to be analysed.