The REDD menace: Resurgent protectionism in Tanzania's mangrove forests

Betsy A. Beymer-Farris, Thomas J. Bassett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) is being proclaimed as "a new direction in forest conservation" (Anglesen, 2009: 125). This financial incentives-based climate change mitigation strategy proposed by the UNEP, World Bank, GEF and environmental NGOs seeks to integrate forests into carbon sequestration schemes. Its proponents view REDD+ as part of an adaptive strategy to counter the effects of global climate change. This paper combines the theoretical approaches of market environmentalism and environmental narratives to examine the politics of environmental knowledge that are redefining socio-nature relations in the Rufiji Delta, Tanzania to make mangrove forests amenable to markets. Through a case study of a "REDD-readiness" climate change mitigation and adaptation project, we demonstrate how a shift in resource control and management from local to global actors builds upon narratives of environmental change (forest loss) that have little factual basis in environmental histories. We argue that the proponents of REDD+ (Tanzanian state, aid donors, environmental NGOs) underestimate the agency of forest-reliant communities who have played a major role in the making of the delta landscape and who will certainly resist the injustices they are facing as a result of this shift from community-based resource management to fortress conservation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-341
Number of pages10
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2012

Keywords

  • Carbon forestry
  • Environmental history
  • Environmental justice
  • Global climate change
  • REDD+

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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