Josiane Kakeu

Josiane Kakeu


As a Commonwealth-funded PhD candidate at the Sustainable Research Institute, I conduct a research programme on what has been widely acknowledged as the most challenging environmental problem of our time, i.e. climate change. Tackling climate change in any successful terms would demand sound policies and effective governance. Hence my interest in the policing of greenhouse gas mitigation especially 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 littered with ground-breaking international initiatives often at odd with on-the-ground realities. Thus, I undertook to take soundings from grassroots communities and national-level decision-makers to investigate how REDD+ fits with domestic circumstances in Cameroon within the Congo basin, drawing on my forestry background.

I hold an Engineering degree in Forestry and Wildlife and over seven years of experience in tropical forest and natural resource management. My involvement in forest and protected areas put me up against 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.

My 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 engaging in the protection and sustainable management of their forests. It is thus awash with enthusiasm that I joined the International Union for Nature Conservation (IUCN) to pilot test several REDD+ initiatives in remote forest communities. My PhD research offers me the opportunity to take a step back, take stock and reflect on ways to forge the best possible way ahead for REDD+ and climate governance broadly.

In my first publication linked below, I showcase several local REDD+ pilots and discuss how existing forest policies affect their performance. I also introduce an approach to identify the key factors that sculpt the outcomes of a REDD+ project.

In my upcoming release, I will put a finger on the thorny issue of integrating environmental and development policies in countries of the global south where the political agenda is more than often overridden by poverty alleviation and economic growth.




Research interests

  • Forest management and governance
  • Climate change policy and governance
  • Natural resource and environmental management
  • Indigenous and local communities



  • Engineer of Forests and Wildlife