Barbara Stiubiener Abrahao

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Oxford, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10540

Approve Date

April 6, 2023

Project Title

Stiubiener Abrahao, Barbara (Oxford, U. of) "Is this forest or carbon? An inquire about value in the Brazilian Amazon"

This ethnography investigates how the carbon economy is transforming environmental and material practices of Amazonians. As part of mitigation policies, carbon credits are produced according to western criteria of sustainability and conservation of the forest. These new metrics are stigmatizing Amazonians’ gardening practices such as swidden (agricultura de coivara) which has contributed to the forest biodiversity. Agricultura de coivara has organized Amazonians’ socio-cultural relations with the forest and their subsistence for the last 12.000 years. I observe the interaction between companies and communities in two carbon production sites in the Brazilian state of Para. I wish to understand how the production of carbon credits aims to create capitalist value over Amazonians and forest’s entanglement. It does so by transforming local economies based on agricultura de coivara, hunting, fishing and forestry commodities. By describing how the carbon economy affects practices, including the traditional use of fire for gardening, I will connect anthropological literatures on domestication and value. This will allow us to learn how Amazonians appropriate or adapt their environmental practices and give them new meaning. This also contributes to the discussion on how value is created, transformed and maintained in the light of the climate crisis while changing Amazon landscape.