Walker DePuy

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Georgia, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9313

Approve Date

May 2, 2016

Project Title

DePuy, Walker H., U. of Georgia, Athens, GA - To aid research on 'Towards a Political Ecology of Social Safeguards: Translating 'Rights' Across an Indonesian REDD+ Project,' supervised by Dr. Julie L. Velasquez Runk

Preliminary abstract: The proposed research seeks to understand how rights-based discourses are produced, translated, and enacted across actor groups and governance scales in an Indonesian forest carbon project. The United Nations’ REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) policy has both reoriented forest conservation around carbon sequestration and advanced novel rights-based mechanisms known as ‘social safeguards.’ As environmental governance has gone global, recent anthropological and STS scholarship engage the interconnections between science, policy, and practice. Less work, however, has focused on the globalization of rights-based discourses. Bringing theories of translation, ontology, governance, and value together, I will interrogate the design and enactment of REDD+ social safeguards across the Berau Forest Carbon Program (BFCP) of East Kalimantan, a project administered in partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Grounded in ethnographic fieldwork in the Long Laai village of Berau District, I additionally will engage in participant observation and semi-structured interviews across TNC’s international headquarters in Arlington, VA, and national office in Jakarta, West Java. Together this work will enable me to understand how different community and conservation actor groups interpret concepts of knowledge and rights; how such translations shape rights-based policies and governance regimes; and what is erased, obscured, or modified across cultural and ontological difference. With Indonesia a global leader in REDD+ policy, this research will provide a valuable case study for gauging REDD+’s future success and for understanding how transnational ‘encounters’ produce emerging rights regimes.