Climate change and forests: assessing local governance


Published on

The skills of anthropologists in local-level social analysis have great potential for contributing to the global discussion on climate change. Their skills and findings could be used toward reducing the risks related to REDD+, and working constructively with communities to adapt to the changes that cannot be prevented. CIFOR scientist Carol Colfer gave this presentation at the Society for Applied Anthropology’s annual meeting, in Seattle, Washington in April 2011. The aim was to interest anthropologists in addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation more actively.

Published in: Education, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Climate change and forests: assessing local governance

  1. 1. Climate Change & Forests: Assessing Local Governance<br />Carol J. Pierce Colfer<br />Center for International Forestry Research, Bogor, Indonesia<br />Cornell University, Ithaca, New York<br />
  2. 2. Macro-Level Bias in International Climate Change Discussions (e.g.)<br />International agreements (e.g.)<br /> - REDD+ for mitigating climate change <br /> - decision on National Adaptation Programs of Action (NAPAs) for least developed countries (from UNFCCC)<br />Assumption that national level efforts are most feasible<br />Efforts to develop a national-level governance assessment tool (e.g. by World Resources Institute)<br />
  3. 3. Addressing Climate Change in Forests<br />Complexity and diversity from place to place<br />Dynamism of local systems<br />Likely transaction costs (if tailoring policies to local levels)<br />National sovereignty issues<br />
  4. 4. Locally, in Tropical Forests…<br />Enormous power differences (between government and people)<br />Widespread corruption (lack of legitimacy)<br /><ul><li>potential for adverse effects on locals</li></ul>Local realities differ (social, biophysical)<br />Climate change will play out differently in different places<br />need for local responsiveness (both for mitigation and adaptation)<br />
  5. 5. Some Legitimate Fears, Possible Abuses…<br />Value of swidden produce provided in [inadequate] recompense for loss of people’s subsistence base<br />Chicanery that transfers broadly held land rights to outsiders without equitable distribution of benefits<br />Land grabs ‘in the interests of conservation or climate change’ that disenfranchise local folks<br />Possible resettlement of folks from areas deemed useful for national carbon credits<br />
  6. 6. Need for Anthropological Input<br />In addressing climate change, some of the effort should be focused on the local level.<br />Local groups can:<br /> develop mitigation strategies appropriate to their activities and conditions<br /> enhance their ability to adapt to climate change.<br />This potential can best be realised, if based on solid ethnographic and other social science knowledge and skills.<br />
  7. 7. An early step should be the ability to assess local governance quality:<br />Collaborative Governance of Tropical Landscapes <br />(Colfer and Pfund eds. 2011, Earthscan, London)<br />[featuring examples from Cameroon, Indonesia, Laos, Madagascar, and Tanzania]<br />
  8. 8. Governance Assessment Tool [GAT]<br />Building on:<br />CIFOR participatory action researchwork in villages and districts in three projects (Adaptive Collaborative Management, Collective Action and Property Rights, Landscape Mosaics)<br />Exposure to policy issues in long term, global decentralisation research<br />A 2009 trial in Jambi, Sumatra (by Feintrenie)<br /> Governance Assessment Tool <br />
  9. 9. 1. Stakeholders and their relationships<br />#1 Do mechanisms exist to obtain the input of marginalised groups in decision-making that affects them?<br />#2 List the mechanisms and evaluate the functionality of each<br />#3 Evaluate access for each stakeholder category to forest lands and products<br />#4 Evaluate the voice of each stakeholder category in decision-making affecting them <br />
  10. 10. 2. Formal access to resources <br />#5 Do formal land-use categories in state law reflect the types of land use common in the field?<br />#6 Are people's rights with regard to land and forests clearly defined? [+5, more specific Qs]<br />#7 Are people's rights as outlined above secure (whether by law or by custom)?<br />
  11. 11. 3. Structure and function of governance [1 of 2]<br />#8 Are the different formal and customary governance structures functioning? [+ 3 Qs]<br />#9 Are effective sanctions applied when natural resource rules and regulations are ignored? [+ 3 Qs]<br />#10 Are conflicts effectively managed? [+6 Qs]<br />
  12. 12. 3. Structure and function of governance [2 of 2]<br />#11 Are there high levels of trust among people in the landscape? [+4 Qs]<br />#12 Are there good links between communities and outside resources (information, funding)? [+ 2 Qs, 4 sub-Qs]<br />
  13. 13. Intended and Possible Uses of GAT<br />Assessment by projects, governments, NGOs, local groups, to identify weaknesses and help communities improve governance.<br />A system of scores that can be used by communities to measure their own progress.<br />[Most controversial] As a tool to determine eligibility of a community for participation in a climate change initiative like REDD. [authors are ambivalent about this use….] <br />
  14. 14. Thanks for your attention!<br />Comments and suggestions welcome<br />Contact:<br />Further reading:<br />Facing an uncertain future:how forests and people can adapt to climate change<br />Reducing Climate Change in Alliance With Swidden Communities & Indigenous Peoples<br />