Trees, forests and farmers: for-profit conservation and voluntary carbon markets in Peru

Lock, William Edward (2021) Trees, forests and farmers: for-profit conservation and voluntary carbon markets in Peru. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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This thesis examines a suite of for-profit conservation projects producing carbon credits for the voluntary carbon markets, analysing how forests – and trees – are being framed and produced as a solution to climate change. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in the San Martín region of Peru between 2017-19 , it builds on an emerging literature on the production of carbon to shows that schemes geared towards producing carbon credits for sale on the voluntary markets carry with them significant risks which could undermine their stated goals of local development, emissions reductions and biodiversity conservation.
The research offers an original political ecological theorisation of the complex and evolving relationship between capital, carbon and forests by examining the interplay between conservation, reforestation and agricultural production in these projects. Firstly, it highlights how for-profit conservation schemes are driving a privatisation of land and carbon, tending towards a centralisation of surplus value capture. Secondly, it shows how selling credits on the voluntary markets relies on a framing of the natural world as a simplified and stable ‘green infrastructure’, to produce a specific ‘Nature’ for human development. And, thirdly, it shows how projects internalise critiques of capitalism to, counter-intuitively, allow for continued growth and consumption.
By analysing the value chains that have sprung up to meet the demand of those looking to offset carbon, this research thus questions the growing focus on carbon offsetting and ‘net zero emissions’ pledges to highlight the risks of the growing role of forest conservation and reforestation in delivering ‘nature-based solutions’ to climate change. In detailing the changing landscapes of trees, forests and labour under for-profit conservation in Peru, it provides a novel view of how privatisation and offsetting are impacting the production of socionatures in the name of greening the global economy.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Development
Subjects: F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F2201 South America > F3401 Peru
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour > HD9000 Special industries and trades > HD9000.9 Agricultural industries
Q Science > QC Physics > QC0851 Meteorology. Climatology Including the earth's atmosphere > QC0980 Climatology and weather > QC0981.8.A-Z Special topics, A-Z > QC0981.8.C5 Climate change
S Agriculture > SD Forestry
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2021 09:52
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2021 09:52

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