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Research Report

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

Dil Bahadur Khatri
Ramesh Prasad Bhushal
Naya Sharma Paudel
Niru Gurung
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2012
Pages: 36
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-1)

    In recent years, recognition of the important role of forests in helping to mitigate climate change through the global environmental service of carbon sequestration and storage – popularly known as reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and enhancing forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+) – has increased (Irawan and Tacconi 2009, Parker et al. 2009, Blom et al. 2010, Skutsch and McCall 2010). Although the modalities of REDD+ are yet to be agreed upon in international climate change negotiations, many developing countries have engaged in implementing the mechanism with optimism. Following international trends, Nepal has embraced the promise...

  2. (pp. 2-3)

    Nepal is well known for its participatory forest management system, especially community forestry, which is viewed as successful not only in improving forest conditions over the past few decades, but also in supporting the livelihoods of rural communities. In this context, REDD+ has been welcomed with the hope that it will strengthen Nepal’s decentralised forestry system and support the livelihoods of the rural poor. This section sheds light on the decentralisation of the forestry sector and the emergence of REDD+ in Nepal.

    Scholars generally divide the history of Nepal’s forestry policy and governance into three major eras: feudalistic forestry, nationalised...

  3. (pp. 4-5)

    This section describes the role of the media in shaping public discourse in Nepal. It begins by briefly outlining the history of the Nepali media. This is followed by a description of the country’s current media landscape, and then a discussion of the role of the Nepali media in shaping public discourse.

    The Nepali media started with the publication of Gorkhapatra, the state-owned daily newspaper, in 1901 (in Nepali). The newspaper was followed by the establishment of Radio Nepal and Nepal Television (NTV) in 1950 and 1985, respectively. All three of these mediums of mass communication are owned and controlled...

  4. (pp. 6-7)

    This study uses multiple tools and methods. However, it mainly relies on content analysis from selected newspapers to understand how the media both reflects and influences REDD+ policy processes in Nepal. Newspapers were selected because newspaper articles are available in archives, and because newspapers are well established as key information sources for policymakers and are considered a reliable and accessible media form. Although radio (particularly FM radio) is popular in rural areas of Nepal, we relied on newspaper articles and interviews with journalists working in selected newspapers. Interviews were also conducted with some radio journalists to triangulate the information extracted...

  5. (pp. 8-15)

    This subsection provides a broad picture of media coverage of REDD+ in Nepal, based on the level 1 coding of newspaper articles (see Section 4.3 for a description of the different levels of coding used in this study), supplemented by qualitative data gathered through interviews with journalists. The findings and observations are primarily based on analyses of newspaper articles from 2005, when the role of forests in climate change mitigation in general, and in REDD+ in particular, became an important part of the climate change debate.

    During the period from 2005 to 2007, there was little coverage of climate change...

  6. (pp. 16-17)

    The content analysis of selected newspapers in Nepal revealed that REDD+ received relatively little attention in the Nepali media compared with, for example, the attention given to the topic in Brazil and Indonesia (Cronin and Santoso 2010, May et al. 2011). It is evident that REDD+ has not yet found a place on the political agenda in Nepal. Climate change in general, and REDD+ in particular, is quite a new subject for journalists, and they find it difficult to understand and report on. This is largely the case globally (Painter 2010). The general trend is that, instead of engaging in...

  7. (pp. 18-18)

    This paper analysed media reporting on REDD+ in Nepal and identified some interesting patterns that could help clarify the nature, scope, expectations and potential of REDD+ implementation. The findings reveal that media reporting is influenced by a number of factors including the public significance of the issue, state of knowledge on the subject and the political profile of the promoters. Three key conclusions can be made from the report.

    First, the media coverage is predominantly occupied by news and views on the climate change debate, with only a small part of that dedicated to REDD+. The media has prioritised Himalayan...