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The benefits that (only) capital can see? Resource access and degradation in industrial carbon forestry, lessons from the CDM in Uganda

Edstedt, Karin and Carton, Wim LU (2018) In Geoforum 97. p.315-323
Abstract
Recent research has shed light on the various tradeoffs involved in carbon forestry, i.e. the pursuit of international forestry projects to help mitigate climate change. This article contributes to these debates by highlighting the importance of resource quality and degradation in evaluating project benefits and tradeoffs. Focusing on the case of an industrial tree plantation in Uganda, the Kachung Forest Project, we highlight how the livelihoods of communities surrounding the reserve have been affected by interlinked changes in local resource access and resource quality. We show that the project has brought about a significant degradation of fuelwood sources, grazing and cultivation lands, and potentially increased pressure on scarce... (More)
Recent research has shed light on the various tradeoffs involved in carbon forestry, i.e. the pursuit of international forestry projects to help mitigate climate change. This article contributes to these debates by highlighting the importance of resource quality and degradation in evaluating project benefits and tradeoffs. Focusing on the case of an industrial tree plantation in Uganda, the Kachung Forest Project, we highlight how the livelihoods of communities surrounding the reserve have been affected by interlinked changes in local resource access and resource quality. We show that the project has brought about a significant degradation of fuelwood sources, grazing and cultivation lands, and potentially increased pressure on scarce water sources, which in turn contributed to increased poverty in the area. We also argue that the community development interventions that project actors have pursued have primarily delivered ‘benefits that capital can see’, quick-fix solutions that fit within the profit-maximizing logic in which the forest company operates, while obscuring the underlying and resource-dependent drivers of poverty. Our study calls for closer attention to the interlinked socioecological changes underpinning the foundational tradeoffs – between cost-effective carbon sequestration and long-term environmental and developmental objectives – in the industry forestry model analysed here. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Geoforum
volume
97
pages
9 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85053926738
ISSN
1872-9398
DOI
10.1016/j.geoforum.2018.09.030
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
bb78148b-52de-4772-b2bd-d2a462f61d82
date added to LUP
2018-09-27 15:08:35
date last changed
2019-04-21 05:17:08
@article{bb78148b-52de-4772-b2bd-d2a462f61d82,
  abstract     = {Recent research has shed light on the various tradeoffs involved in carbon forestry, i.e. the pursuit of international forestry projects to help mitigate climate change. This article contributes to these debates by highlighting the importance of resource quality and degradation in evaluating project benefits and tradeoffs. Focusing on the case of an industrial tree plantation in Uganda, the Kachung Forest Project, we highlight how the livelihoods of communities surrounding the reserve have been affected by interlinked changes in local resource access and resource quality. We show that the project has brought about a significant degradation of fuelwood sources, grazing and cultivation lands, and potentially increased pressure on scarce water sources, which in turn contributed to increased poverty in the area. We also argue that the community development interventions that project actors have pursued have primarily delivered ‘benefits that capital can see’, quick-fix solutions that fit within the profit-maximizing logic in which the forest company operates, while obscuring the underlying and resource-dependent drivers of poverty. Our study calls for closer attention to the interlinked socioecological changes underpinning the foundational tradeoffs – between cost-effective carbon sequestration and long-term environmental and developmental objectives – in the industry forestry model analysed here.},
  author       = {Edstedt, Karin and Carton, Wim},
  issn         = {1872-9398},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  pages        = {315--323},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Geoforum},
  title        = {The benefits that (only) capital can see? Resource access and degradation in industrial carbon forestry, lessons from the CDM in Uganda},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2018.09.030},
  volume       = {97},
  year         = {2018},
}