The use of market-based mechanisms is transforming the way nature and ecosystems are managed with profound implications on environmental governance. The rapid growth of the carbon market appears to have significant environmental justice implications because of the way costs and benefits are distributed among different actors. In particular, potentially conflicting uses of forest, one as carbon sink for generating credit and the other for subsistence of local and indigenous populations, suggests enormous environmental justice implications of REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation). Despite being in a pilot stage, REDD is already transforming the way forest is managed with significant impacts on many forest-dependent communities in developing countries.
The paper uses the Six Moments Framework proposed by David Harvey to assess the process whereby different stakeholders respond to changes triggered by the introduction of REDD. Each moment, namely: discourse; power; values and beliefs; social relations; material practices; and institutions and rituals, influences each other and its interaction shapes the scope and direction of social changes. As Harvey recognises, interactions often favour those in power through, for example, political elite advocating market-based mechanisms to address environmental problems and building a REDD framework based on their interests. However, the paper argues that careful analysis of forces at work within and across moment could help identify potential entry points from where a challenge to such processes can be launched. Such analysis would help open up greater space for weaker groups and pave the way forward for a more equitable and sustainable forest management. The paper assesses the process of designing and refining the REDD framework in South East Asia through the Six Moments Framework with a discussion on the potential entry points in empirical settings.
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