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The inclusive turn of neoliberal conservation? Opportunities and threats of REDD+ in Tanzania

17th March 2015 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Seminar by STEPS visiting fellow Andreas Scheba

The rise of new markets, or market-like instruments, in the realm of nature conservation is a key feature of global discourse and strategies around the ‘green’ economy. Innovative ways of measuring, valuing and trading nature have emerged that enjoy increasing support among public and private stakeholders. At the same time, critical scholarship has warned against the problematic and contradictory logic of what they call ‘neoliberal conservation’, raising valid questions of: How does pricing nature contribute to its protection? Who benefits from the new commodities? Who loses? What has politics got to do with it?

This seminar will investigate these questions in the context of REDD+ in Lindi, Tanzania. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in two remote, forest-dependent villages, I will discuss how and why neoliberal conservation emerges and manifest itself in a deprived rural context; and what effects it has on forest governance, rural livelihoods and conservation practice.

The role of discourse, politics and power over forest resources will be critically examined, both currently and in a historical perspective. The findings of my analysis will lead me to argue for an ‘inclusive’ turn in neoliberal conservation that offers both opportunities and challenges for sustainable democratic futures.

Andreas Scheba is an Austrian born, early-career researcher who recently completed his PhD in Development Policy and Management at the University of Manchester. His doctoral thesis examined the politics and development effects of REDD+ in the Lindi region of Tanzania, for which he conducted ethnographic research in two remote, forest-dependent villages.


17th March 2015
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
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