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REDD+ Politics in the Media: A Case Study From Indonesia

This working paper examines how Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) has been framed in Indonesia’s media. The report’s findings are based on content analysis of three national newspapers and a series of expert interviews. It is argued that Indonesia’s REDD+ discourse revolves primarily around land use, where REDD+ conservation is pitted against economic growth fuelled by land use change. Media analysis demonstrates that the Ministry of Forestry and Environment dominates debate at the national level, but their land use objectives diverge from other ministries. It is also asserted that NGOs are split over the capacity for REDD+ to deliver genuinely equitable outcomes. Concerns are raised over the extent to which journalists are able to critically engage with the REDD+ discourse, owing to its technical nature. The report ends by concluding that a broad cross-section of society has engaged with REDD+, but some voices are louder than others.