As an attempt to mitigate climate change REDD (Reducing Emissions from forest Degradation and Deforestation) has become one of the most preached but also one of the most contested measures discussed in the international climate talks. As 17 % of the global greenhouse gas emissions are a result of deforestation, action is urgent. This study wishes to present practices and relations in a NGO-initiated sub-national REDD pilot project in the Bolivian Amazon. The study is based on 5 months of multi-sited fieldwork in the Bolivian lowlands.
This thesis demonstrates how the initiating NGO, the indigenous peoples’ movement and local government representatives interpret and act in the face of this international climate change mitigation mechanism. I see these processes through the lens of spaces and landscapes defined by Tilley, and scale-making and place-making defined by Tsing. Specifically, the thesis explores how social and material realities are simplified through a range of different activities by the defined actors to become scaled and subdued to an overarching REDD agenda. By looking at remote sensing, maps and map-making I try to unveil the process of making specific configurations of scale; how spaces and landscapes are turned into manageable places. I also try to unveil the terms and preconditions for which the different actors enter into relations that are necessary to establish the platforms of collaboration that make up the REDD pilot project.
Finally, by using the example of the lowland indigenous movement in Bolivia’s preparation and participation in Rio+20, I look at a message’s ability to travel across landscapes. I analyze the message through two imperative traits pinpointed by Tsing and her perspective on political messages as packages; their capacity to be mobile, and to mobilize. I suggest that to make a message mobile and to make it mobilize the same message gets different, and possibly also logically incompatible, articulations across different political and ecological landscapes and scales. This experience may be transferred to REDD.