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Birgit Habermann: The Framing of a Tree: Sacred sites and cash for poles


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Presentation at the STEPS Conference 2010 - Pathways to Sustainability: Agendas for a new politics of environment, development and social justice

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Birgit Habermann: The Framing of a Tree: Sacred sites and cash for poles

  1. 1. The Framing of a Tree: Sacred sites and cash for poles Birgit Habermann (BOKU Austria/ IDS UK), Habtamu Yeshegat (ARARI Gondar), Ulrike Felt (UNI VIENNA) BOKU, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Dept. For Sustainable Agricultural Systems, Institute for Organic Farming, Working Group Knowledge Systems and Innovation 05.10.10
  2. 2. The idea behind – Ways of knowing <ul><li>Ways of knowing is a FWF funded project (basic research), carried out together with a partnership project (applied research) </li></ul><ul><li>Meeting of farmers and scientists in research projects </li></ul><ul><li>Sites in Ethiopia and Uganda </li></ul><ul><li>Looking at interfaces, social worlds, politics of knowledge, framing of technologies </li></ul>05.10.10
  3. 3. 05.10.10 North Gondar, Ambober Watershed West Shewa, Galessa Watershed
  4. 4. How did we do it? <ul><li>Ethnographic approach </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews with farmers // participatory mapping, seasonal calendars, village walks,… </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews with scientists, development organisations, (N)GOs </li></ul><ul><li>Historical sources, common literature, project documentation and publications </li></ul><ul><li>Observations documented with video, photographs, observation notes and a reflective diary </li></ul>05.10.10
  5. 5. The idea behind: Conceptual Framework <ul><li>Framing, narratives: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Narratives of environmental degradation (Hoben 1995, Leach and Mearns 1996, McCann 1995) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Framing (STEPS Centre) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Modes of ordering </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Modes of ordering, classifications (Bowker and Star 1999) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Labelling (Moncrieffe and Eyben 2007) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social Worlds and Technopolitical Cultures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Actor-oriented (Long and Long 1992, Long 2001) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technopolitical cultures (Felt et al 2009) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social worlds (Gieryn 1995, Rival 1998, Clarke 2005)/ laboratories (Knorr-Cetina 1981) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Standardized Packages (Fujimura 1992) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>05.10.10 </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. What did we try to find out? <ul><li>Understand the influence of social worlds on farmers and scientists ways of knowing in research projects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Categorisations and modes of ordering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Room for meeting of different ways of knowing or participation as a means of creating publics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Role of framing and narratives in management of trees and soils </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Review of degradation discourse </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Policies and politics in NRM </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Whose sustainability are we talking about? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Donor-oriented and/or government policies? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project goals? Collective or individual goals? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Appropriation or use of vocabulary / adaptation of semantics </li></ul></ul>05.10.10
  7. 7. Landscape framing 05.10.10
  8. 8. Landscape framing 05.10.10
  9. 9. Tree categorisation 05.10.10
  10. 10. Forest categorisation 05.10.10
  11. 11. Narratives in tree management: sacred sites? Cash for poles? 05.10.10
  12. 12. Multiple Ways of Knowing <ul><li>Migration: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Migrating farmers: Resettlement in Ethiopia, outmigration of Falashas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Researchers travelling and studying abroad </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Transmission </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge of previous generations: if forest areas different from today, different images may be passed on to next generation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role of church and community leaders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transmission in science: role models </li></ul></ul>05.10.10 Traditional tree use for storage
  13. 13. Multiple Ways of Knowing <ul><li>Dynamic versus stagnant – psychology of change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Innovative farmers may have the possibility to see different parts of Ethiopia, bring in new ideas - networks, power relations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proximity of urban areas (plantations near cities) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Market demands on tree production (Eucalyptus, Wanza) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Projects bring in new and old ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Association to research centres, new technologies </li></ul></ul>05.10.10 Gesho terraces – innovation for soil conservation
  14. 14. Multiple Ways of Knowing <ul><li>Imposed images, and imposition of action: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Powerpoint presentations eg before and after images to ‘create awareness’ and feeling of ‘blame’ for environmental degradation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meetings after church: social control within communities, mobilisation, introduction of new technologies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inputs and support tied to adoption of new technologies selected by whom? </li></ul></ul>05.10.10
  15. 15. Results: Semantics vs reality <ul><li>Adaptation of semantics but no appropriation – hidden transcripts (Scott 1995) ? </li></ul><ul><li>Enforced diversity: example of tree seedlings (Eucalyptus plus indigenous trees) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Numbers versus outcomes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role of research </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conflicting views, embeddedness of ‚trees‘ in social realities influences practical action </li></ul>05.10.10
  16. 16. Conclusions <ul><li>More actors coming in, more claims on how ordering is done (compare Bower and Star 1999) </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple ways of seeing the world, and different values, as well as organisational regulations or internal codes. </li></ul><ul><li>Hidden transcripts and resistance </li></ul><ul><li>Whose technologies, whose sustainability? </li></ul><ul><li>More space for innovation from within </li></ul><ul><li>Risk taking for more complexity </li></ul>05.10.10
  17. 17. 05.10.10 University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, BOKU Vienna Dept. For Sustainable Agricultural Systems Institute for Organic Farming, Working Group Knowledge Systems and Innovation Contact: Birgit Habermann Gregor Mendel-Straße 33, A-1180 Wien Tel.: +43 1 47654-3771,