Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Commodifying forest carbon : how local power, politics and livelihood practices shape REDD+ in Lindi Region, Tanzania
Author: Scheba, Andreas
ISNI:       0000 0004 5364 5654
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
International efforts to promote REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest-carbon stocks) have enjoyed widespread support in climate negotiations. While proponents of this ‘payments for ecosystem services’ approach proclaim win-win benefits, others critique this commodification of forest carbon for contributing to social and environmental injustices that will undermine conservation and development in the longer-term. In this dissertation I respond to these concerns by critically examining how REDD+ initiatives emerge in the context of Lindi Region, Tanzania. I specifically investigate how REDD+ initiatives interact with local livelihood practices, local forest governance and the drivers of land use in order to interrogate the mechanism’s contribution to local development. I conducted ethnographic fieldwork in two villages, both characterised by relatively large forest areas and ‘shifting cultivation’, where different REDD+ projects are underway. In total I stayed in Tanzania for 11 months and applied qualitative and quantitative methods that resulted in 116 recorded interviews, one focus group discussion, innumerable journal entries from ethnographic interviewing and participant observation, 118 household surveys and data from document analysis. Drawing on debates within international development and neoliberalisation of nature I conceptualise REDD+ initiatives as processes promoting ‘inclusive’ neoliberal conservation. In doing so I point at the inherent contradictions of this mechanism that aims to combine a neoliberal conservation logic with inclusive development objectives. I empirically examine local livelihood practices to question popular notions of land use and argue that REDD+ initiatives must grapple with poverty, intra-village inequality and villagers’ dependence on land for crop production to contribute to inclusive economic development. I follow up on this argument by discussing the importance of material and discursive effects of REDD+ initiatives to the livelihoods of poor, middle income and wealthy households and to forest conservation. I then link these effects to an examination of how power and politics shape the implementation of REDD+ initiatives on the ground, specifically discussing the technically complex and politically contested process of territorialisation and the local practices of community-based forest management. I illustrate how seemingly technical REDD+ initiatives are inherently political, which gives them the potential to contribute to local empowerment. At the same time I question naïve assumptions over community conservation and good governance reforms by showing in detail how community-based forest management institutions are practiced on the ground and how this affects benefit distribution within the villages. My last empirical chapter examines how Conservation Agriculture is introduced in the villages as the best way to reconcile agricultural development with forest protection. I specifically discuss the role of social relations in shaping the dissemination and adoption of this new technology in rural Tanzania. Throughout this thesis I argue that local livelihood practices, power struggles and politics over land and people shape how REDD+ initiatives, as inherently contradictory processes of ‘inclusive’ neoliberal conservation, emerge on the ground and I empirically show what this means to different forest stakeholders.
Supervisor: Woodhouse, Philip; Brockington, Daniel Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: REDD+ ; 'inclusive' neoliberal conservation ; carbon markets ; community forest management ; Tanzania ; payments for ecosystem services ; neoliberalisation of nature ; Conservation Agriculture