Research Topic

Jurisdictional Approaches to Sustainability in the Tropics

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About this Research Topic

This Research Topic has been developed in collaboration with Swetha Peteru, Research Consultant for the Climate Change, Energy & Low-Carbon Development Team, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

Across the tropics, many ...

This Research Topic has been developed in collaboration with Swetha Peteru, Research Consultant for the Climate Change, Energy & Low-Carbon Development Team, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

Across the tropics, many subnational governments have made progress in advancing jurisdictional approaches to sustainability. Jurisdictional approaches can be understood as a type of integrated landscape management, with high levels of government involvement, leading to comprehensive governance of forest and land use across entire political territories. Such approaches try to increase the synergies between the regulatory frameworks, and associated incentives, to enhance the production of ecosystem services while increasing sustainable land use and support agricultural and rural development. They offer important opportunities to link agricultural and environmental incentives (including REDD+), sustainable supply chain initiatives, domestic policy, and finance in more integrated ways. End goals are to protect, manage, and restore forests, and other ecosystems, and promote sustainability beyond individual production units. Jurisdictional approaches are numerous, very different, and evolve over time according to external and internal drivers. Given their potential for sustainability, further assessment of their definition, design, and implementation is needed.

The aim of this Frontiers research topic is to gather contributions from researchers who examine different aspects of the evolving set of initiatives termed ‘jurisdictional approaches’ in the tropics at the subnational level. Contributions may address conceptual issues to situate subnational jurisdictional approaches within the environmental governance literature. Several papers will assess core elements of jurisdictional approaches (e.g., policy options and alignment, commitments to reduce deforestation and/or emissions, incentives, transparent monitoring, multi-stakeholder processes, sustainable private sector initiatives, innovative finance) in nearly 40 states and provinces in 12 tropical countries based on research done by Earth Innovation Institute and the Center for International Forestry Research in 2018. Other contributions may examine subnational government networks, contextual factors and drivers, private-public partnerships, implementation challenges, recognition of indigenous and local community rights, and cost-benefit distribution, among other relevant sub-topics. Articles can be case studies or comparative and should be based on original research. This special collection of papers will fill a gap on the need for independent, critical assessments of the progress and challenges to date of subnational jurisdictional approaches across the tropics.


Keywords: Tropical deforestation, Multi-stakeholder governance, Zero-deforestation commitments, Jurisdictional sourcing, REDD+, Low emissions development, Landscape governance, Tropical forests, People and forests


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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