Research project

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Resource conflicts between global climate politics and local land use – impacts of the global discourses on climate change and REDD+ on forest use practices in Thailand

Global climate change and the political negotiations about it lead to a reassessment of traditional forms of resource use in numerous contexts. While so far the economically profitable extraction of resources was at the heart of interests, a new, almost contradictory trend seems to be emerging lately: a growing interest of the international community in the non-utilization of natural resources insofar as these allow reducing CO2-emissions. Such an interest requires new perceptions as well as new forms of regulation and incentives which are currently being developed and tested in the international arena. One of the contexts in which these changes in discourse and regulatory practices are already arising are negotiations and institution building in the context of REDD+, the internationally discussed mechanism for the reduction of CO2-emissions by reducing deforestation and forest degradation.

Currently, the global regulations of forest use are still in an experimental stadium and subject of intensive debates. However, the discursive shifts in the understanding and depiction of forest resources and forest uses are already causing profound changes. Locally used forest resources are increasingly regarded not only as part of the livelihoods of local people but are assigned a (virtual) monetary value that triggers new interests on different scales as well as new practices of regulation and control.

On the empirical level the project examines the consequences of these processes in the context of Thailand. It is focusing on the question how norms and perceptions affecting forest use are altered through the discourse of global climate change in general and REDD+ in particular and how these changes impact on existing conflicts around forest uses and forest conservation.

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Latest Revision: 2015-07-24
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