Authors: Marcelo Santos Rocha da Silva (University of California, Merced) , Joel Edward Correia (University of Florida)
This article contributes to political ecologies of forest-based climate change mitigation strategies by assessing Brazil's first sub-national jurisdictional REDD+ program. Proponents of jurisdictional REDD+ argue that the approach brings more social and environmental benefits than small-scale REDD+ projects and addresses negative socio-economic impacts of deforestation pressures on forest-dependent communities. Our analysis tells a different story. We assess Acre's sub-national jurisdictional (SNJ) program to show that reworking the scale of REDD+ is not only key to its persistence and stabilization, but also that implementation politics often further environmental injustice. We draw qualitative field research in the state of Acre into conversation with a critical analysis of SISA and the ISA Carbono program implementation. Our findings illustrate two interwoven points vital to political ecologies of REDD+. First, the social-environmental ambitions of Acre's SNJ REDD+ program were strongly influenced by the political ecologies of popular movements and a history of state-led environmental governance initiatives. Second, Acre's SNJ REDD+ has not met several of its social-environmental goals like bolstering forest-dependent peoples' rights or equitably distributing program benefits across sectors, despite operating most extensively on the lands of forest-dependent communities. Consequently, we argue that Acre's SNJ REDD+ track record has reinforced rather than alleviated injustice against Indigenous peoples and traditional forest extractivist communities.
Keywords: jurisdictional REDD+, political ecology of climate change, environmental justice, social-environmentalism, Brazil
How to Cite: Santos Rocha da Silva, M. & Correia, J. E. (2022) “A political ecology of jurisdictional REDD+: investigating social-environmentalism, climate change mitigation, and environmental (in)justice in the Brazilian Amazon”, Journal of Political Ecology. 29(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/jpe.4713