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Integrating preservation of indigenous culture with the REDD objectives: Experiences of the Suruí Carbon Project
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

As the urgency of tackling climate change globally is pressed against equally urgent needs for local development, the REDD framework is gaining importance as a flexible market- based mechanism, which can potentially be instrumental for the development of local communities. However, such win-win ambitions of projects that integrate development and conservation have been tested for the past two decades, and existing research attests to their questionable outcome with respect to either the interests of local communities, or the environmental objectives, or both. Among reasons for poor performance or failure, various analysts point out the suppression of local cultural and socio-productive systems by a homogenising modernist development agenda. This research is a case study of a REDD project, which claims to have addressed this issue: the Suruí Forest Carbon Project, developed by the indigenous people of Paiter Suruí, who inhabit the Indigenous Territory Sete de Setembro in the Brazilian Amazon. Based on the stated ambition of the Suruí Carbon Project to help preserve the indigenous culture of Paiter Suruí, the inquiry of this research aims to explore the potential of the REDD framework for safeguarding cultural integrity of indigenous peoples. This case study is intended to contribute to the discussion on whether and how ontological and cultural clashes can be mitigated within the REDD framework so as to enhance its benefits on the global and local levels. The experience of the Suruí Carbon Project in integrating the agenda of cultural preservation into the REDD mechanism is analysed by means of document study, telephone interviews with the authors and propagators of the project, and discourse analysis. Additionally, theoretical frameworks of assemblage, by T.M. Li, and of the dwelling perspective, by T. Ingold are employed for interpreting the empirical material. Among the key findings of this research is a demonstration that an epistemological intervention, which developmental projects in this context usually imply, doesn’t necessarily supress local autonomy. On the other hand, the example of the SCP demonstrates that the autonomy of local communities in defining their own developmental models doesn’t by itself guarantee that they will successfully preserve their ancestral cultures. Judging by the case of Paiter, a substantial modification of cultural and socio-productive models is inevitable, and the point of debate is which cultural aspects are to be compromised and how much.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 87 p.
Examensarbete vid Institutionen för geovetenskaper, ISSN 1650-6553 ; 276
Keyword [en]
Suruí Carbon Project, REDD, indigenous communities, community based forest management, sustainable development, dwelling
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-261654OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-261654DiVA: diva2:850898
Educational program
Master Programme in Sustainable Development
2015-08-12, Geocentrum, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, 14:10 (English)
Available from: 2015-09-02 Created: 2015-09-02 Last updated: 2015-09-02Bibliographically approved

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Shakisheva, Daria
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