The creation of new assets involves many different steps, phases, layers and transformations which are rarely neatly separated. I found it helpful to look at the multitude of PES schemes and approaches as an example of the process of turning another part of Nature into a commodity / carving a new commodity out of Nature. Will in the next slides take a look at three different categories of PES that seem to indicate different stages in the process of commodification, look at what they have in common; how they are linked; where they differ and how some of the differences can be seen as indicators for the different stages on the way to full commodification and integration into commodities trading. Look at these similarities and difference from the perspective of the changes these schemes create at the location where they are implemented and among the actors involved in them.Another way of describing this process of carving new commodities out of Nature is that ‘biodiversity’ is turned into ‘resource’: “Though it appeared long after natural resources were commodiﬁed, the term, ‘biodiversity’ distinguished ‘Nature’s’ components from their commodity identities as ‘resources’ (Wilson and Peter, 1988).” Peluso (2012): 86 Second part of the presentation looks [very briefly] at the EU Habitat Banking initiative. One of its roots and motivations is the EU’s failure to fulfil its self-proclaimed target of halting biodiversity loss within the EU by 2010. And this response to failing to halt biodiversity loss in the EU may see direct regulatory approaches to environmental protection being gradually replaced [though initial complementing rather than replacing] through the market-based approach of habitat banking. In the process, the policy goal of ‘no biodiversity loss’ which guided the formulation of the old biodiversity strategy and its target of halting biodiversity loss in the EU by 2010 is replaced by the new policy goal of ‘no net biodiversity loss’. This seemingly subtle change assumes that (1) biodiversity loss in one location can be compensated for by creation of new biodiversity in another place and that (2) the result of destruction in one place and additional compensation / offset in another would ensure ‘no net loss’….similar to the argument that additional release of greenhouse gases in one place can be compensated for through additional reductions of emissions in another place and that the result is ‘no net increase’ in ghg concentrations in the atmosphere. The ‘no net loss’ / compensation approach also erases the social dimension of the functions that biodiversity / Nature perform: habitat reduced to the physical / environmental / biological functions while the social, cultural and spiritual functions of habitat are erased in the process of moving from ‘no biodiversity loss’ to ‘no net biodiversity loss’. Addendum: Another change on the road from Rio 1972 to Rio+20: Erasing of the social, cultural and spiritual functions of Nature as a logical consequence of a move to market-based approaches to environmental protection ….demonstrated in the EU by the move from ‘no biodiversity loss’ to ‘no net biodiversity loss’: Initial EU environmental legislation of Natura 2000, Environmental Liability Directive and Biodiversity targets were set in motion in the wake of the 1972 Enviro summit in Rio….EU position for Rio+20 very firmly favouring a move towards market-based approaches to environmental protection, incl. EU habitat banking initiative, REDD, market-based approaches to ghg emissions. Social, cultural and spiritual dimensions of the sustainability definition central to Rio 1972 not central to the debate anymore in the debate at Rio+20.If time left, want to conclude presentation with some questions on why these initiatives matter – if they matter; and some thoughts on responses that we can hopefully pick up in the course of the discussions over various options and choices for response to these new initiatives to create new commodities out of Nature.
PES is a term that encompases a very large variety of approaches & schemes; as a result, any attempt to categorise PES schemes will simplify and there will be schemes that don’t neatly fit the descriptions, just like the process of carving a new commodity out of Nature cannot easily be divided up in distinct categories with a clear beginning and end. And attempting such a neat categorisation is not the aim of the exercise. Rather, the aim is to understand whether these different types of PES represent different stages in the creation of new commodities out of Nature and if so, how this process of creating biodiversity, species, natural beauty, water as commodities takes place. The objective of identifying the three broad types into which existing programmes that pay for protection of ecosystem functions can be divided is thus to better understand the key differences and similarities between then from the perspective of creation of new asset classes out of Nature, the inclusion of ecosystem functions as commodities into financial markets and whether / what kind of changes esp. users dependent on Nature in its non-commodified form will experience to their ways of life and socio-political fabric as a result of this process of commodification. To add for future presentations: 1 - Examples of 1-3, including identification of key aspects of the process of commodification and integration into exchange as commodities.2 – Links to research on the examples cited in (1) – (3)
Make link to indulgences practise
Larry Lohmann (2011): The endless algebra of climate markets. http://www.thecornerhouse.org.uk/sites/thecornerhouse.org.uk/files/LohmannCNSarticle.pdfAvailable in EN and ESThe Munden Project (2011): Forests and Carbon Markets. See Trading Carbon (www.fern.org) and publications from The CornerHouse, Carbon Trade Watch for info on the sulphur trading scheme and why it (a) is not really comparable with carbon trading – no offsets, direct, real-time automated measuring, just change in technology, not transformational change…still using coal for energy production; and (b) how quicker and cheaper change was achieved in jurisdictions that used direct regulation and few companies actually used the trading option
Morgan Robertson: “Discovering Price in all the wrong places” http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9781444306750.ch5/summaryAlso, Development and Change journal issue 43 (1) in Feb / March 2012 based on Nature Inc presentations 2011 in The HagueAdditional material available on Antipode Foundation website about creation of new enclosures
Conservation International’s Cardamom Mountain Conservation Project has been well-documented and the processes analysed in the context of how payments-for-conservation that ignore local power politics eventually fail and in the process also significantly change the way local participants of the scheme relate to the land: (1) Sarah Milne & Bill Adams (2012) Market Masquerades: Uncovering the Politics of Community-level Payments for Environmental Services in Cambodia. In: Development and Change 43(1): 133–158.(2) Sarah Milne (2011): Property relations in the context of avoided deforestation in Cambodia. See also how changes in engaging in REDD offset project changed what farmers plant and weakened traditional land use rules and safeguards: Tracey Osborne (2011): Interrogating the Tradeoffs: Carbon Commodification and Community Forest Governance in Chiapas, Mexico. Abstract of presentation at Nature Inc. Conference May 2011, The Hague. The research is based on studies of the Scolel Te Carbon Forestry Project in Chiapas, Mexico. One of the early tree planting offset projects, set up mainly be Plano Vivo.“Commodification shapes community rules and land use that have previously protected forests, in ways that in some cases lead to environmental degradation and loss of culturally important livelihood benefits associated with traditional land use. […] rules governing communal land tenure arrangements that had previously been responsible for protecting large areas of tropical forests, were weakened when the community began growing trees as part of the carbon market. […] community engagement with the carbon market has produced outcomes that may be socially and environmentally less desirable than the counterfactual condition of forest governance and management in the absence of the market-based carbon forestry.” Osborne (2011): 1Based on a case study in Chiapas, Mexico, I have shown the ways in which carbon commodification has been central to changing rules and traditional land-uses that have formerly protected forests on communally managed lands. Engagement in the project has produced social, socio-economic, and environmental outcomes that are minimal at best, and in some cases prove to be regressive.” Osborne (2011): 14
Michael Grubb quotation illustrates why such outcomes are not an accident but a logical consequence of applying market-based instruments to Nature conservation. Expecting a different outcome from application of such an approach, or expecting that safeguards, FPIC or certification schemes will fundamentally alter the dynamics that such market-based approach to conservation introduce at local level is ignoring the strong dynamics that are inherent in these approaches. www.cop17carbonmarkets.com
For anyone interested in following the EU working group on habitat banking: How to access the interest group "No Net Loss Working Group" on CIRCABC (Category: European Commission / Environment) 1) Please connect yourself to CIRCABC by clicking on the following link : https://circabc.europa.eu/w/browse/d4470620-1d93-41c6-86b0-9b2e667211aeWorking Group on No Net Loss of Ecosystems and their Services, in order to gather views from a range of stakeholders to prepare the EU Initiative on 'no net loss' announced for 2015 in the EU Biodiversity to 2020. The 19 December Council Conclusions agreed that a common approach is needed for the implementation in the EU of the 'no net loss' principle and invited the Commission to address this as part of the preparation of its planned initiative on 'no net loss' by 2015
Analysis based on (1)presentation given by Pro Natura / FoE Switzerland at EU Forest Policy meeting Brussels, 28 March 2012 and (2) own experience
Nancy Peluso (2012):What’s Nature Got To Do With It? A Situated Historical Perspective on Socio-natural Commodities. Development and Change 43(1): 83, 95
To add separate slide for future use that integrates discussion in group in 4 May morning session: Context of creating new commodities out of Nature – as one of the responses to the crisis of accumulation where with increasingly hard to ignore limits of further limitless growth using conventional commodities development model pushes human creativity into creation of new commodities. Whether one looks at these processes in their historical context as political acts to expand commodification of Nature to enable integration into economies of accumulation or whether one looks at these processes primarily as policy initiatives to engage in and shape with the aim of ensuring best outcomes will influence NGO and network strategies; Historical context will likely lead to engagement in the debate with focus on exposing these new processes that aim to put price on Nature for what they are – (1) carving new commodities out of Nature so accumulation can continue b/c new assets are made available for accumulation and (2) only one of many possible responses to the crisis of accumulation; social justice would dictate different responses…focus on creating space for these. Policy context will likely lead to engagement in the debate with focus on engaging in the actual process of creating the new commodities through aiming to create them as benign and beneficial to the current users of Nature and ensure they become the new producers of these new commodities. See Peluso (2012) on the creation of rubber as a commodity and how “Context — one dimension of being situated — mattered greatly in themeanings and politics of rubber’s extraction” and the consequences of being situated differently for those forced to extract [Amazon, Congo] / allowed or not allowed to cultivate [Borneo] Interesting parallels also to current REDD evolution in description and analysis of how the widely held perception today of rubber tapping as a benign extractive activity and rubber tappers as environmental and social movement heroes involves “the hiding of harsh realities of commodification in fairy-tale stories” ; “Just as the indigenous peoples and jungle rubbers have combined into a positive socio-natural tale of contemporary Borneo, so the non-indigenous rubber tappers of Brazil have generated stories of heroism, environmentalism and collectiveendeavour. Who tells their story is important: no longer on the receiving end of violent colonial extractions, they have made alliances with scholars,NGO activists and peasant organizations and lobbied for recognition of their practices in the rainforests surrounding them. They represent themselvesand are represented simultaneously as green rubber producers for capitalist markets, as collectively organized owner-workers, and as sustainable forest managers (Hecht and Cockburn, 1989; Nepstad and Schwartzman, 1992).Extractive reserves in the Amazon, once sites of slavery and violence, have become conservation strategies. Strangely, with the emergence of new,magical stories of sustainable rainforest and agro-forestry production, past horrors have been submerged, all but forgotten. That these rubber tappers’extractive reserves would represent local labour empowerment and sustainable development to environmental and agrarian activists and scholarswould have been hard to imagine in the years of exploitation and horror in the nineteenth century. Peluso (2012): 98f
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