ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Neo-liberal Conservation

Analysing Carbon Forestry and Its Challenges in India

Carbon forestry projects such as REDD+, A/R CDM and the Green India Mission are based on the neo-liberal principles of privatisation, commoditisation, and marketisation. These market-oriented tools abstract forests from their sociocultural and ecological contexts and reduce their value for carbon forestry. These projects promote plantations of fast-growing species and undermine local knowledge and institutions. The available empirical evidence on the carbon forestry projects indicates that these have an impact on the rights and livelihoods of forest-dependent communities adversely. Hence, it is imperative to critically analyse them before scaling them up.

This paper has benefited from the comments of EPW’s anonymous referee.

UNEP, ecologists and the scientific community have long argued that forests are worth more alive than dead … that their ecosystem services and benefits are worth billions if not trillions of dollars if only we can capture these in the economic models … REDD offers an opportunity to begin capturing these real values and will bring much needed finance to maintain one of the world’s central life support systems … With any new initiative there are risks and rewards.

— Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director

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Updated On : 23rd Apr, 2019
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