Lost in translation? How project actors shape REDD+ policy and outcomes in Cambodia

  1. Maya Pasgaard
Forest protection policies to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) are currently being implemented by international donors, governments and conservation agencies across the developing world aiming for reduction of greenhouse gases while ensuring fair distribution of benefits. This paper draws on a case study in northern Cambodia to analyse how conservation practitioners and the local forest management committees engaged in implementing REDD+ actively translate and influence the policy and its implementation in accordance with their respective interests through particular communication strategies. When assessing project progress and outcomes, the conservation practitioners involved in implementing projects show an interest in emphasising positive project assessments by downplaying potential project complications, and by primarily communicating with pro-REDD+ members of the local communities. Powerful actors in the local forest management committees adopt the conservation rhetoric of these practitioners; at the same time, they can interpret and control local access to resources to their own advantage. By doing so, they can ensure continued support, while not necessarily representing all community members or sharing benefits equally. The processes and consequences of this policy translation in a REDD+ arena are discussed and compared with existing dominant trends in environment and development policies.

Participating in REDD+ Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (PMRV): Opportunities for Local People?

Manuel Boissière, Guillaume Beaudoin, Carola Hofstee  and Serge Rafanoharana 

Assessing forest changes is the baseline requirement for successful forest management. Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) are three essential components for achieving such assessments. Community participation in resource monitoring and management is increasingly seen as a scientifically efficient, cost-effective, and equitable way to employ such practices, particularly in the context of REDD+. We developed a multidisciplinary approach to study the feasibility of Participatory MRV (PMRV) across three sites along a forest degradation gradient in Indonesia. We looked at both the local and national level needs of MRV. Our approach combines: (1) social research focusing on the enabling conditions for local participation in MRV; (2) governance analyses of existing MRV systems in forestry and health; and (3) remote sensing work comparing overlaps and gaps between satellite imagery and local assessments of forest changes. We considered in our approach the possible multiple benefits of PMRV (carbon mitigation, biodiversity conservation, livelihood security). Our study helped to identify the multiple stakeholders (communities, NGOs and governments) and what the levels of governance should be to make PMRV design and implementation feasible and sustainable. 

Download full paper: http://www.mdpi.com/1999-4907/5/8/1855/htm

The Iron Kuay of Cambodia: Tracing the role of peripheral populations in Angkorian to Colonial Cambodia via a 1200 year old industrial landscape

The Industries of Angkor Project (INDAP) is the first scientific study combining investigation of the chronology, supply network and technology of raw and finished iron within Angkorian (9th to 15th c. AD), Middle Period (15th to 19th c. AD) and Colonial (1863-1953) Cambodia. This paper is concerned with the production technology employed at five iron smelting sites in the northern province of Preah Vihear, three loci within the enclosure walls of the Angkorian Preah Khan complex and two, c. 30 km east, near Phnom Dek or ‘Iron Mountain’. The Phnom Dek area is an historic homeland of the ethnic minority Kuay people, who continued to smelt iron from local mineral sources into the 1940s. With the aim of testing a previously proposed ‘Angkorian Kuay’ hypothesis, that Kuay ancestors were responsible for Angkorian period iron smelting at Preah Khan of Kompong Svay (Preah Khan), the objective of this preliminary study was to establish whether any technological continuity could be detected across a 1200 year old industrial landscape, and thus if any socio-culturally homologous relations could be proposed for the iron makers respectively responsible. Our preliminary results suggest that the iron smelting remains at Preah Khan date from Angkor’s terminal phase and into the subsequent Middle Period, whereas as the two studied production sites near Phnom Dek range from the 9th-11th c. AD and to the 19th/20th c. AD. Preah Khan and Phnom Dek production systems appear to have used different iron ore sources but, in the absence of well-preserved furnace remains, statistical analysis of slag chemistry indicates a technological conservatism spanning more than a millennium. At this stage the ‘Angkorian Kuay’ model can be neither rejected nor sustained but the complexity of Preah Vihear province’s settlement and industrial history is becoming increasingly apparent and will only become clearer with further excavation and study of chronologically and geographically intermediate sites.
  • Southeast Asia
  • Cambodia
  • Angkor
  • Archaeometallurgy
  • iron smelting
  • Kuay