Journal article
REDD+ as ‘inclusive’ neoliberal conservation: the case of Lindi, Tanzania

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Publication Details
Author list: Scheba A, Scheba S.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles
Publication year: 2017
Journal: Journal of Eastern African Studies
Journal name: Journal of Eastern African Studies
Volume number: 11
Issue number: 3
Start page: 526
End page: 548
Total number of pages: 23
ISSN: 1753-1055
eISSN: 1753-1063


In recent years, market-based conservation has emerged as the ‘panacea’
to the environmental crises we face today. A prominent example of this
trend is REDD+, which turns terrestrial carbon in the global South into
fictitious commodities that can be sold for profit. In this paper, we
conceptualise REDD+ as a form of ‘inclusive’ neoliberal conservation,
highlighting how neoliberalism has embraced notions of good governance,
local ownership, social safeguards and active citizenship when promoting
global conservation markets. While demonstrating the genuine efforts by
project proponents to practice ‘inclusion’, we highlight their limits
due to larger structural inequalities and demonstrate how the
commodification of carbon inevitably causes new forms of inclusion and
exclusion to local forest users. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in two
forest-dependent villages in the Lindi Region of Tanzania, where two
different REDD+ projects were underway, we show how material and
discursive powers shaped ‘inclusive’ strategies to market forest-carbon.
We then locate these strategies, concerned with the commodification of
forest-carbon, within a historical field of power struggles and local
politics over forest resources, strongly evidenced in contestations
around establishing community-based forest management. We argue that a
sharp disjuncture operated between the ‘inclusive’ strategies to market
forest-carbon and the historical dimensions and power relations within
the area; resulting in new forms of inclusions and exclusions, both in
and outside rural villages. 

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Last updated on 2018-05-02 at 13:31