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Research article2019Peer reviewedOpen access

Is REDD plus More of an Institutional Affair than a Market Process? The Concealed Social and Cultural Consequences of an Ongoing REDD plus Project in Kolo Hills, Tanzania

Bartholdson, Orjan; Abdallah, Jumanne M.; Marquardt, Kristina; Salomonsson, Lennart


The neo-liberal rationale behind REDD programs aims to create a market for common resources, with monetary payment incentives as the most important driver for conservation initiatives. In reality, however, the chain of implementation from UN to village, encompassing numerous processes of design, planning, and practices at distinct levels and contexts, is more institutional and political than economic. This research project follows the planning and implementation process of a REDD+ project in the Kolo Hills, Tanzania. The analysis showed that the project's main objectives were poorly understood by the men and women of the target group, who interpreted it as yet another top-down postcolonial project. The target group's interpretations also made them act in accordance with their own cultural rationality and logic of practice and not as the donors and project implementers had assumed. The project objectives of the payment system, consciousness awareness and engagement of the target population, thus, seem to have failed, despite the donors' and implementers' claim of success.


REDD plus; carbon sequestration; climate change mitigation; social fields; logic of practice

Published in

2019, Volume: 10, number: 8, article number: 618
Publisher: MDPI