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Beneficiaries of Forest Carbon: Precarious Inclusion in the Brazilian Amazon

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Wednesday, 28 February 2018, 12:30

Wednesday, February 28, 2018. 12:30 PM. Beneficiaries of Forest Carbon: Precarious Inclusion in the Brazilian Amazon. Maron Greenleaf, Columbia University. Sponsored by Department of Human Ecology.  More information here.


Dominant policy responses to climate change give new value to the carbon stored in tropical forests. Critical analysis tends to analyze this approach as a form of commodification that leads to the dispossession of poor rural people and forest communities. Yet, in the Amazonian state of Acre, Brazil, forest carbon’s new value enables forms of material and political inclusion by making rural people into “beneficiaries.” In this paper and presentation, Dr. Greenleaf asks what it means to be a beneficiary of forest carbon. She examines the forms of inclusion and politics it enables, including the precarious form of inclusion advanced by the Acreano state. This case helps us to think critically and expansively about the types of value and politics that our responses to climate change might allow.


Dr. Greenleaf is an anthropologist and legal scholar. She studies the social and political significance of climate change and efforts to mitigate it, particularly through market-based measures. Dr. Greenleaf uses critical field-based social science methods and legal analysis to understand how environmental governance can both address and exacerbate inequity, with a focus on efforts to reduce deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. She holds a PhD in Anthropology from Stanford University, a JD from New York University, and a BA from Yale University.  

Location  Blake Hall, Room 131, Cook Campus