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Fuelwood territoriality's: Chantier d'Aménagement Forestier and the reproduction of “political forests” in Burkina Faso


Côte, Muriel; Gautier, Denis (2018). Fuelwood territoriality's: Chantier d'Aménagement Forestier and the reproduction of “political forests” in Burkina Faso. Geographica Helvetica, 73(2):165-175.

Abstract

This paper investigates the endurance of a national forest management programme in Burkina Faso called Chantier d'Aménagement Forestier (CAF), which focuses on the participatory sustainable production of fuelwood and is widely supported by international donors despite evidence of its shortcomings. We analyse the surprising persistence of the CAF model as a case of the territorialisation of state power through the reproduction of “political forests” – drawing on the work of Peluso and Vandergeest (2001, 2011). Analysing some the shortcomings and incoherencies of the model, we bring to light the role of non-state actors in the reproduction of the CAF as a “political forest”. We show that informal regulatory arrangements have emerged between state and non-state actors, namely merchants and customary authorities, over the production of fuelwood. We call these arrangements “fuelwood territorialities” because they have contributed to keeping the CAF's resource model unquestioned. With fuelwood territorialities, we draw attention to the role of non-state actors in the reproduction of “political forests”, that is, the process of state territorialisation through forest governance. This analysis helps clarify how certain areas, such as the CAFs, keep being officially represented as “forest” even though they are dominated by a patchwork of fields, fallows, and savannahs and do not have the ecological characteristics of one.

Abstract

This paper investigates the endurance of a national forest management programme in Burkina Faso called Chantier d'Aménagement Forestier (CAF), which focuses on the participatory sustainable production of fuelwood and is widely supported by international donors despite evidence of its shortcomings. We analyse the surprising persistence of the CAF model as a case of the territorialisation of state power through the reproduction of “political forests” – drawing on the work of Peluso and Vandergeest (2001, 2011). Analysing some the shortcomings and incoherencies of the model, we bring to light the role of non-state actors in the reproduction of the CAF as a “political forest”. We show that informal regulatory arrangements have emerged between state and non-state actors, namely merchants and customary authorities, over the production of fuelwood. We call these arrangements “fuelwood territorialities” because they have contributed to keeping the CAF's resource model unquestioned. With fuelwood territorialities, we draw attention to the role of non-state actors in the reproduction of “political forests”, that is, the process of state territorialisation through forest governance. This analysis helps clarify how certain areas, such as the CAFs, keep being officially represented as “forest” even though they are dominated by a patchwork of fields, fallows, and savannahs and do not have the ecological characteristics of one.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:3 May 2018
Deposited On:30 Jan 2019 15:02
Last Modified:30 Jan 2019 15:03
Publisher:Copernicus Publications
ISSN:0016-7312
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.5194/gh-73-165-2018

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