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Research Report

REDD+ policies in the media: The case of the written press in Democratic Republic of Congo

Félicien Kengoum
Félicien M. Kabamba
Angelique Mbelu
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2014
Pages: 54
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-2)

    Forests cover close to 30% of the surface of the planet (FAO 2001; Bonan 2008) and during growth they sequester carbon, which is released during deforestation and degradation, thus contributing to global warming (IPCC 2007). Forests are responsible for close to 20% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the air (Stern Review 2007). Yet, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are not included in the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or in its Kyoto Protocol (Angelsen et al. 2010). Covering a land area of close to 2 million hectares (almost 18% of the world’s forestland), the Congo Basin...

  2. (pp. 3-10)

    This analysis of the REDD+ media discourse falls under the more general framework of module 1 of a Global Comparative Study (GCS-REDD+) that CIFOR has been involved in since 2009.This module relates to the REDD+ policy processes at the national level in certain countries in the world’s three biggest tropical forest basins. Case studies have already been carried out in Cameroon, Tanzania, Bolivia, Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, Peru, Mozambique and Papua New Guinea. This media analysis is a follow-through to earlier studies that described the context of REDD+ in DRC (Mpoyi et al. 2013) and will be followed by other studies...

  3. (pp. 11-15)

    In 1960, at the dawn of independence, DRC tightened its control over various sectors of the country’s political life. The political and socio-economic objectives of this newly independent state were more or less clear, despite the omnipresence of vestiges of the colonial past (Kabemba 2005). In this new context, one of the government’s major goals was to demystify the idea of independence by emphasizing that newly independent people were able to handle their own affairs and be freely and autonomously responsible for their own lives (Mpereng Djeri 2004). To achieve these goals required robust instruments and a good communications system....

  4. (pp. 16-25)

    This section looks at the contents of articles considered as analytical variables. For certain articles collected, the topics in the articles are framed for more than one level. In this situation a distinction is made between the main frame of the article (F1) and the secondary frames (F2).

    In DRC, REDD+ appeared for the first time in the press on 30 July 2008 in an article in Les Dépêches de Brazzaville on an event concerning the funding of forest protection by the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF). This news about funding from the West for countries in the...

  5. (pp. 26-29)

    This section is divided into the following four sub-sections: uptake of media discourse on REDD+ in DRC; the relationship between the discourse studied and the effectiveness of REDD+; the significance of the absence of certain categories of actors from the discourse in relation to equity, and perspectives about transformational change based on discourse in the articles studied.

    Media freedom in DRC does not, according to what we observed, contribute to the development of media professionalism and specialization, and hence, to a capacity to convey coherent discourse resulting from investigative journalism. With regard to discourse on REDD+, explanations can be found...

  6. (pp. 30-30)

    In sum, this study was programed to analyze media discourse on REDD+ policy process in DRC between 2008 and 2011. The analysis is based on 41 articles that appeared in three newspapers: Le Potentiel, Les Dépêches de Brazzaville, Le Phare.

    We saw that the media effects replaced the cognitive effects. The media effects here were created less by the newspapers we studied than by the communication programs of the international and national actors. The articles on REDD+ were focused more on mediatization than on cognition. Since the meaning of REDD+ was not developed in the media discourse, these articles could...