The Social Life of Forest Carbon: Property and Politics in the Production of a New Commodity

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Interventions to conserve carbon stored in forests are central to the emerging global climate change regime. Widely referred to as REDD+, these interventions engage local resource holders in contracts to restrict their use of land and forests in exchange for conditional benefits, effectively creating a market for forest carbon-a new and intangible commodity. Delving into the social and material implications of this, three case studies (Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Cambodia) examine property relations in the early stages of forest carbon production in different tenure contexts. The case studies reveal that: (a) the risk of local exclusion from forest and lands under REDD+ is real, but is mediated by dynamic negotiations over knowledge and property; (b) the relationship between forest carbon and underlying property relations around land and forests is recursive and mutually constitutive; and (c) due to ongoing and entrenched property contests in REDD+ locations, there remains an unstable foundation for forest carbon markets.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)661-664
    JournalHuman Ecology (Journal)
    Volume40
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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