Josiane Kakeu

Visiting Researcher, University of Leeds

Josiane Kakeu

Josiane completed a Commonwealth-funded PhD degree at the University of Leeds. Her research programme investigated what has been widely acknowledged as the most challenging environmental problem of our time, climate change. Tackling climate change successfully demands sound policies and effective governance, hence her interest in the policing of greenhouse gas mitigation from the forest sector that constitutes a major source of emissions in tropical countries.

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) is a relatively novel programme designed at the global level to address forest emissions; yet the history of environmental policymaking is riddled with ground-breaking international initiatives often at odds with on-the-ground realities. Josiane took soundings from grassroots communities and national-level decision-makers to improve understanding of how REDD+ fits with domestic circumstances in Cameroon within the Congo basin, drawing on her forestry background.

Josiane holds an Engineering degree in Forestry and Wildlife and over a decade of experience in tropical forest and natural resource management. Her involvement in forests and protected areas kept her apprised of the multiple facets and assets of conservation, as well as the challenges in implementing the global conservation agenda within locally deprived communities and economically underprivileged countries in the quest for economic ascension.

Her interest in the REDD+ scheme is motivated by its deflection from mainstream global environmental policies; besides urging for action, the scheme proposes financial compensation to disadvantaged forest-rich countries in exchange for their engagement in the protection and sustainable management of their forests. Josiane joined the International Union for Nature Conservation (IUCN) to pilot test several REDD+ initiatives in remote forest communities, then took her PhD research as an opportunity to take stock and reflect on ways to forge the best possible way ahead for REDD+ and climate governance.