Risk, experiment, technology – governing mediterranean forests in times of climate crises

Authors: Juliane Schumacher*,
Topics: Cultural and Political Ecology, Economic Geography, Middle East
Keywords: political ecology; forests; environment; climate change; governmentality; Mediterranean; North Africa; carbon trade, REDD+
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 5:55 PM
Room: Virtual 42
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Since the end of the 2000s new forms of environmental governance have emerged in
the southern Mediterranean. Drawing on empirical research on forest management in
Morocco over the last decades and recent development projects aiming at integrating
mediterranean forests into global carbon trade, I trace these changes on the example
of a Moroccan cork oak forest. While this locality has been the site of struggles over
state control and commodification at least since the beginning of the 20th century, the
way how it is ‘governed’, the human and non-human actors involved, its temporalities
and spatialities have shifted over time. Earlier forms of ‘disciplinary’ government,
centristic state-control and planning in relation to a linear time of ‘progress’ have been
replaced by neoliberal forms of governance, centering on the formation of new,
responsable subjects. I focus here on the recent shifts in the ‘governance of trees’
that became apparent from 2009 onwards, following the financial and euro crisis and
closely related to international climate policy. I show how new forms of a posthuman,
‘experimental’ governance have emerged in forest management, based on complex
networks of technologies like GIS-based observations, big data analysis and ecological
modelling, as well as specific forms of knowledge production, risk-management and
future-making. I finally discuss these developments in relation to processes of
financialization, and the uneven development of posthuman capitalism.

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