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In pursuit of multidimensional justice: Lessons from a charcoal ‘greening’ project in Tanzania


Mabele, Mathew Bukhi (2019). In pursuit of multidimensional justice: Lessons from a charcoal ‘greening’ project in Tanzania. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

Over the last 30 years, Tanzania has adopted different policy approaches to conserve forests. However, the idea that providing livelihood benefits is a key strategy for achieving conservation effectiveness has persisted throughout the shift from earlier integrated conservation and development approach to the ‘newer’ green economy. This one-dimensional conception of what ‘local people’ value and why precludes a clear understanding of substantive social justice considerations – what is being contested, why, and by whom – when conflicts arise in policy implementation settings. Using a green economy project that addresses charcoal-driven forest loss in Kilosa, the paper examines a conflict between forest conservation and farming and studies the variegated notions of justice that farmers express in relation to the conflict. The paper builds upon a developing strand in the political ecology literature, namely of empirical analyses of rural people’s justice conceptions in environmental conservation, to demonstrate analytic and practical values of a multidimensional justice framework. It illustrates how the framework can help to assess and reframe environmental interventions, going beyond one-dimensional conceptions, to focus attention on the diverse ways in which justice can be recognised or denied at different levels and in different ways for different groups of people. Particularly, it highlights that context matters, as despite the distributional ‘success’ of the project, disregarded concerns over procedural and recognition justice dimensions led to farmers’ loss of land, covert resistance, and continued struggles over compensations. This paper therefore argues that being attentive to a range of justice dimensions can expose locally valued and contested conservation aspects, as well as guide more just environmental conservation.

Abstract

Over the last 30 years, Tanzania has adopted different policy approaches to conserve forests. However, the idea that providing livelihood benefits is a key strategy for achieving conservation effectiveness has persisted throughout the shift from earlier integrated conservation and development approach to the ‘newer’ green economy. This one-dimensional conception of what ‘local people’ value and why precludes a clear understanding of substantive social justice considerations – what is being contested, why, and by whom – when conflicts arise in policy implementation settings. Using a green economy project that addresses charcoal-driven forest loss in Kilosa, the paper examines a conflict between forest conservation and farming and studies the variegated notions of justice that farmers express in relation to the conflict. The paper builds upon a developing strand in the political ecology literature, namely of empirical analyses of rural people’s justice conceptions in environmental conservation, to demonstrate analytic and practical values of a multidimensional justice framework. It illustrates how the framework can help to assess and reframe environmental interventions, going beyond one-dimensional conceptions, to focus attention on the diverse ways in which justice can be recognised or denied at different levels and in different ways for different groups of people. Particularly, it highlights that context matters, as despite the distributional ‘success’ of the project, disregarded concerns over procedural and recognition justice dimensions led to farmers’ loss of land, covert resistance, and continued struggles over compensations. This paper therefore argues that being attentive to a range of justice dimensions can expose locally valued and contested conservation aspects, as well as guide more just environmental conservation.

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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:20 September 2019
Deposited On:20 Sep 2019 13:43
Last Modified:24 Sep 2019 14:43
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:2514-8486
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/2514848619876544

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