Drawing on five months of fieldwork in Indonesia, this thesis explores how the global climate-initiative Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) has been situated and designed at local level in Central Sulawesi. In 2007, the Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg announced that the Norwegian government would give 3 billion NOK on an annual basis to the global climate-initiative, REDD. Norway has stepped up its support to Indonesia on REDD when Indonesia launches its strategy to reduce deforestation and forest degradation. The REDD program was considered to be a pioneering initiative to combat climate change. The idea behind REDD is that developed countries will pay developing ones with tropical forests to conserve their forest to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The idea may sound simple, however implementing the REDD ideology at local levels, indicates that REDD will be dealing with challenges such as weak governance, conflicting interests and violation of human rights.
This thesis is based on a multi-sited fieldwork, where one part was spent at regional level with local NGOs and REDD officials, and the other part in a local community, Rerang, which is located near a large forest area potential to be included as a location for REDD pilot project. The aim of the thesis is to shed light on the various stakeholders in REDD activities in Central Sulawesi. Empirical examples in the thesis illustrate a number of social encounters between agents who are involved in REDD activities in Central Sulawesi, with a focus on local NGOs and local communities. I shall argue that there is a lack of trust among the involved agents, as well as a deficiency of awareness and reflections on their position as I observed it, that REDD officials as well as appointed NGOs failed to communicate with local people in a meaningful way.