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Research Report

REDD+ politics in the media: A case study from Vietnam

Pham Thu Thuy
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2011
Pages: 48
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-1)

    Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+)¹ has received increasing international and national attention. REDD+ primarily refers to i) developing mechanisms to make payments to developing countries for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (relative to a reference level); and ii) readiness activities that prepare countries for participation in the REDD+ mechanism (Angelsen 2008). While REDD+ is generally accepted to be important in global efforts to reduce emissions, little analysis has been made of how far policy makers and the general public understand REDD+ and what they expect from it. This creates difficulties for the national implementation of...

  2. (pp. 2-3)

    The mass media is a key actor in identifying and interpreting environmental issues and mediating a social relationship between scientists, policy actors and the public (Spector and Kitsuse 1977, Schoenfeld et al. 1979, Beck 1992, Baron 2006, Boykoff and Boykoff 2007, Carvalho 2007, Moser and Dilling 2007, Boykoff and Mansfield 2008). The media not only empowers people to make informed choices by reporting the news objectively (Shanahan 2007) but can also act as an important ‘validator’ of science (Carvalho 2007). Paletz (1999) and Crow (2010) also highlight the role of the media as a watchdog on government and as an...

  3. (pp. 4-8)

    This study is a part of a larger project, the Global Comparative Study on REDD+ (GCS-REDD+), which aims to carry out a comparative analysis amongst different countries concerning their stages of REDD+ implementation. The study, therefore, employed a wide range of research methods which were predesigned by CIFOR (2010b)².

    Television and radio are the most important broadcasting instruments in Vietnam, which has well-developed national and local networks (Asia New Zealand Foundation 2010). However, the national radio and television channel often use newspapers as their main source of information. This suggests that newspapers are in fact quite influential, which justifies the...

  4. (pp. 9-26)

    Media coverage is often measured by its quantity, prominence, and frequency (Crow 2010). To assess REDD+ coverage in Vietnam, these factors are all analysed in the following section.

    Climate change first received international media coverage in a publication called Modern Mechanics in 1932 (Blog.modernmechanix 2006) by Climate change and REDD+ has only been reported on since late 2007 in Vietnam. In that year, REDD+ was only covered in Tuổi Trẻ (Figure 1). The interviewee from Tuổi Trẻ explained that ‘we only started to learn about REDD and climate change as important global discussions during COP13’. Poor language skills and a...

  5. (pp. 27-31)

    As the previous sections have shown, REDD+ coverage in Vietnam is still in its infancy. However, the rapid increase in the number of articles on REDD+ and the range of issues covered overtime shows that REDD+ has received increasing attention from policy makers, readers and the media. This is due to global developments, including the Conference of Parties in 2007 (COP13) and the approval of Decision 380/QD-TTg and the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD) UN-REDD in 2008. This shows that the media has effectively reflected the REDD+ policy process...

  6. (pp. 32-32)

    REDD+ coverage in Vietnam has increased rapidly despite a late start compared with international media. This study found that coverage on REDD+ started in 2007 and increased thanks to the launch of numerous REDD+ related policies and programmes. The number of articles and breadth of discussion about REDD+ in the media shows increasing attention and support from the government towards REDD+. However, REDD+ receives much less coverage than some other climate change issues mainly because i) the major focus of climate change concerns in Vietnam is rising sea levels not REDD+, ii) journalists have a limited understanding of REDD+, and...