An exploration of the implementation of global REDD+ policy in Nigeria's neo-patrimonial context : implications for sustainable development

  • Aneshimode Leslie Adogame

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis (PhD)


REDD+ is a global programme for disbursing funds, primarily to pay national governments in
developing countries to reduce forest carbon emission. REDD+ is presently translated from
global discourse into national arena amidst on-the-ground realities of weak governance,
corruption, and power struggles. This thesis responds to these concerns towards
implementing REDD+ policy sustainably. In the last 5 years, Nigeria REDD+ went through a
national readiness phase and is piloted at sub-national scale. However, its governance is
essentially a political process likely to face strong opposition from those benefiting from the
status quo.

This thesis conducts an exploratory analysis to investigate how global REDD+ policy discourse
transforms in a local political setting, to have in-depth understanding of how different forms
of governance influence forest policy outcomes. I draw on political ecology in an investigation
of the politics over forest management and builds on a modified ‘4Is’ analytical framework –
Institutions, Interests, Ideas and Information – to explore actors’ perceptions to analyse
REDD+. The study was qualitative in design and employed the triangulation approach,
participant observation, document analysis, FGDs and interview methods to establish the
problem. Unpacking REDD+ design and implementation interaction could holistically identify
intrinsic institutional impediments in the context of sustainable development.

An analysis brings up a number of key issues. Actor constellations understand, interpret and
implement REDD+ through a ‘complex’ governance setting, deeply entrenched political
system. This limit the potential for transforming a business-as-usual to achieve emissions
reductions. I question the naïve assumption that Nigeria REDD+ is a “win-win” strategy under
the ‘rules of the game’, as against the performed ‘tricks of the game’ embedded in the political

Throughout this thesis I argue that Nigeria REDD+ is seized upon as an opportunity to promote
neo-patrimonial governance system. Findings suggest therefore, the potential for its long-term
sustainability will be a challenge.
Date of Award1 Dec 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of St Andrews
SupervisorMike Kesby (Supervisor) & Ian Christopher Taylor (Supervisor)


  • REDD+
  • Global policy
  • Neo-patrimonial
  • Governance
  • Nigeria's context
  • Sustainable development

Access Status

  • Full text embargoed until
  • 31st August 2022

Cite this