Carbon finance, tropical forests and the state : governing international climate risk in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Author(s)Gray, Ian P
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
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This thesis examines how evolving norms of international climate change mitigation are translated into national forest governance policies and land management techniques in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The development of administrative mechanisms to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) become a cultural script through which the institutions of the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program "prepare" the post-colonial state to be a rational producer of avoided forest carbon emissions. The two actions-building the state and stabilizing a commodifiable carbon-occur unconsciously as a process Sheila Jasanoff calls "co-production," a dialectic in which efforts to change the natural order depend on unquestioned ideas about the social order, and visa versa. As this thesis shows, instrumental goals of making carbon governable in a country bearing the heavy legacy of Belgian colonialism and the scars of the largest regional war in recent African history, run a high risk of reproducing embedded inequities found at the local level. The impacts of global climate change are expected to have especially adverse affects on subsistence communities dependent on forest resources for their daily existence. If REDD architecture would live up to its stated goal of also improving livelihoods in the non-Annex I countries of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, it must engage in a more overtly "coproductionist" politics of carbon management. This means developing overt mechanisms that provide more continuous interactions between different epistemic communities in the domestic REDD countries (international experts, national administrators and local communities), linking local level institutions upward with higher scales of administration in setting the rules for carbon management, as well as strengthening community control of resources so that the decision to participate in the provisioning of global public goods can be made with more autonomy.
Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2012.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 78-83).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.