The Commodification of Nature: Power/Knowledge and REDD+ in Costa Rica
Mosley, Evan Christopher
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Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) is a global carbon trading program intent on mitigating or reversing carbon emissions from forestry in the global south. REDD+ was negotiated at the 2005 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and is coordinated by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), administered by the World Bank Group. In this project, I explore REDD+ activity in Costa Rica, drawing on Michel Foucault's concept of governmentality. Costa Rica became a participant in the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility in July of 2008. Since then, indigenous peoples throughout the country have contested the program. This project is a single-case study of the Bribri contestation of REDD+ schemes, one of the larger indigenous communities in Costa Rica. Bribri argue that REDD+ disrespects their worldview and further endangers their local rights to land and forestry. This project argues that REDD+ and Bribri have different perceptions of nature, enabling disagreement on REDD+ goals. Whereas REDD+ perceives nature as commodifiable for the purposes of neoliberal climate policies, Bribri express a spiritual, harmonious relationship with nature. I conclude by noting that REDD+ can pose negative implications for indigenous life and culture. This is not only because REDD+ draws external and domestic actors to land and forestry for incentive-based purposes. But also because REDD+ defines 'rightful behavior' among forestry resources, challenging indigenous conceptions of environmental management. However, the Bribri are resisting REDD+ imposition and, particularly, the program's external governing of indigenous behavior amongst forests.
- Masters Theses