Melbourne Law School - Theses

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    Reconsidering REDD+: law, life, limits and growth in crisis
    Dehm, Julia ( 2015)
    This thesis examines the legal and social implications of an emerging carbon sequestration scheme under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), called Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), in order to investigate contemporary reconfigurations of control by the global North over land and resources in the global South. It critically examines the rise of carbon markets as a dominant climate mitigation strategy and their distributive consequences. This thesis argues that this marketisation of climate governance operates to foreclose possibilities for climate justice. This thesis makes an original contribution by asking novel questions in relation to the REDD+ scheme and its legal framework. Its primary concerns lie with interrogating the new form of authority, new modalities of power and the reconfiguration of social and legal relations this scheme produces. In particular, the thesis is concerned with the social implications of REDD+, given the 1.6 billion people globally living in and around forest areas and dependent in some way on forests for their livelihoods. There is now an extensive body of academic literature that examines the social impacts of REDD+ that primarily focuses on how to avoid doing harm or realise rights or co-benefit through REDD+ implementation. This thesis offers a unique contribution to this literature by focusing not only on the question of formal title rights, but also their underlying basis of authorisation and the broader political economy of the carbon economy. It therefore provide a complex account of appropriation of forested land through the reconfiguration of legal authority over land, that occurs alongside, and is perhaps even facilitated by, greater tenure formalisation.