von Werder, Saskia Antonia: (Inter-)nationale Klimapolitik und die Produktion des Raumes : Eine qualitative Fallstudie zu REDD+ in Kapuas, Zentral-Kalimantan, Indonesien. Bonn: Department of Geography, University of Bonn, 2016. In: Development Geography Occasional Paper, 09.
Online-Ausgabe in bonndoc: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11811/8655
author = {{Saskia Antonia von Werder}},
title = {(Inter-)nationale Klimapolitik und die Produktion des Raumes : Eine qualitative Fallstudie zu REDD+ in Kapuas, Zentral-Kalimantan, Indonesien},
publisher = {Department of Geography, University of Bonn},
year = 2016,
month = dec,

series = {Development Geography Occasional Paper},
volume = 09,
note = {The present master thesis analyzes REDD+, a market-based climate mitigation instrument designed by the UNFCCC to reduce and prevent carbon dioxide emissions from tropical regions. The analysis presented hereafter aims at both understanding the preconditions for REDD+ to be implemented globally, and at examining the impacts of REDD+ on peoples’ everyday lives in rural Indonesia. While scientific research about advantages, limitations and impacts of REDD+ is diverse and abundant, this thesis presents a novel approach to analyze REDD+ by using Henri Lefebvre’s theory on “the production of space” as theoretical background. Bringing in Lefebvre’s conceptualization of “space” as being actively produced by various actors across various scales, allows for an encompassing analysis of REDD+ from global to local scale, linking politicoeconomic dynamics with everyday micro-social processes.
Literature review was chosen as a method to analyze processes at the global scale. To assess micro-social processes at the local scale, an ethnographic three-month field research was conducted at a REDD+ project site “Kalimantan Forest and Climate Partnership” in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Open participative observation, ethnographic interviews and focused interviews represent the pillars of the empirical data collection.
Analysis of literature shows that tropical forest and peatland regions to be successfully inserted into a global carbon market, must at first undergo a discursive, scientific and technological transformation which turns them into abstract space: UNFCCC politics discursively evokes a spatial imagination of tropical regions of being exposed to a win-win-win-situation (local development, cost efficient climate protection, and nature conservation). Carbon arithmetic and remote sensing technology create quantifiable representations of tropical landscapes, marking them as so-called carbon sinks. These produced spaces then are given an exchange value by being converted into the fictitious commodity “CO2e”. Hence tropical regions become tradable on the international carbon market which, in turn, justifies the international control of local peoples’ daily use of these very same regions.
Results from empirical data analysis show that REDD+ project implementation strongly impacts the way villagers produce their social space locally. Practical use, conception and perception of space are influenced and altered. While before, spatial practice was focused on cultivation and resource exploitation for daily income, it then was turned into project-compliant performance engaging all available local workforce for REDD+ ends. New concepts of space, propelled by both (inter)national carbon sequestration proponents and their opponents defending customary land rights, enter the local scene. In consequence, new discourses, new land use maps as well as new laws on customary land rights are imposed, giving power to those ones who introduced them. Prior to REDD+, (physical) space was primarily used and not conceived of, and hence ideas about space and its (customary) use were strictly bound to the body, thus remaining fluid and uncodified. Spatial perception changed insofar as villagers now hope for the restoration of the village’s degraded forests. Those ones actively involved in the REDD+ project hope for convergence with “city culture” due to increased wealth and the village’s internationalization. Still, there is distrust amongst local citizens and a major perception that REDD+ will not change the living conditions on the ground, just as any other project hasn’t done before. The depicted changes in the local production of space eventually lead to accelerated rural class formation, an increased recurrence on local adat identity in a multiethnic village, and the marginalization of local people in the carbon trade profit, conceding them, if ever at all, an extremely small amount of carbon rights (400ha in a project region of 120.000ha).
On a meta-level, the afore-mentioned results lead to the conclusion that REDD+ changes the relationship between man and nature at selective locations in rural tropical regions whereas global economic structures, and hence the societal relationship with nature, remain unchanged. Nature is turned into an abstract sign and prohibition of resource use is imposed. Responsibilities for climate protection are shifted from global North to global South, justifying the subordination of people’s everyday life at REDD+ project sites to a carbon sequestration rationale. Nature itself is being fetishized, becoming a tradable good only if untouched, voided by human use and submitted to highly technologized and scientifically elaborate quantification. This all serving the goal to achieve a “frenetic mobilization of space” (Lefebvre) which now is extended from the city to nature, serving to buffer worldwide overaccumulation of capital.
To conclude, this research has shown that i) REDD+ is a very powerful instrument both in the international arena by evoking hope for easy and cost-efficient climate protection to feed the global carbon economy with cheap CO2e-certificates, and in places of project implementation where it causes domination of peoples’ daily land and resource use; ii) Despite of the REDD+ project’s failure, Indonesia with its vast territory of tropical forests and peatlands will probably adhere to its REDD+ policy. Given the unclear situation of customary land rights throughout the country and the strong pressure of REDD+ projects on the codification of land rights, there is a real danger that local peoples’ access to resources will be strongly limited, while at the same time giving them no secure access to carbon rights; iii) Lefebvre’s theory of the “production of space” has proven to be fruitful for the analysis of socio-economic processes across scales. Theory use can be developed by further elaborating on Lefebvre’s concept of “nature” and by applying additional concepts/theories to look at micro-social interaction from different viewpoints.},

url = {https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11811/8655}

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