Identifying challenges and opportunities for REDD+ will help to inform future policy and implementation of the program in Indonesia and other countries. The aim of this research is to identify and elucidate challenges and opportunities for REDD+ and other environmental governance initiatives. We present the perceptions of stakeholders and practitioners involved in REDD+ in Indonesia at multiple scales varying from global to local. Our research demonstrates stakeholders are struggling with problems of bureaucracy and a lack of confidence in REDD+, in addition to problems surrounding funding, logistics of implementation, corruption, stakeholder engagement and buy-in. Ultimately, our respondents and supporting documents reflect the particularly complex cultural and governance contexts in Indonesia. Despite challenges, REDD+ may have increased attention to these issues and acted as a catalyst for change. Effective implementation of REDD+ projects in Indonesia will require both nuanced understanding of the local and cultural context as well as long-term perspectives.