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Linse, Linus, 2023. Managing trees and power relations : analysing power in two tree restoration projects in central Tanzania. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



Nature restoration and carbon forestry projects in the Global South are considered central tools for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Proponents claim that projects have the potential to deliver win-win solutions, supporting poverty alleviation and local empowerment in addition to environmental benefits and carbon sequestration. However, over the last decades, a growing body of literature has criticised projects for paying insufficient attention to local needs. This case study takes foothold in both camps, realising, on the one hand, that the world could indeed benefit from having more trees and that local communities around the world depend on access to forest products for their livelihoods. On the other hand, I support the critique, recognising that unless significant attention is given to ensure local benefits, nature restoration projects run the risk of becoming exploitative tools, reproducing post-colonial power relations between North and South. Hence, the thesis aims to contribute to the literature by exploring how power relations influence the impacts projects have in local communities. The study comprises two nature restoration projects in Tanzania, both aiming to increase the number of trees in local villages.
The study is based on semi-structured interviews and observations, conducted during five weeks of fieldwork in Tanzania. Interviews were held primarily with farmer households in two villages that had both projects present. It also includes interviews with project implementers and village leaders.
A livelihoods approach guided the fieldwork and was used analytically to determine project impacts. The material was then analysed using a lens of power, revealing important connections between the power residing with information and the agency of local farmers. The study also identifies the projects as power players in the local political arena and highlights the need for sufficient mechanisms to ensure downwards accountability and representation to support local democracy. Lastly, the results suggest that the small-scale approach used by both projects and working with farmers in flexible agreements on their own land, can alleviate livelihood constraints due to national and regional regulations on natural resource use.

Main title:Managing trees and power relations
Subtitle:analysing power in two tree restoration projects in central Tanzania
Authors:Linse, Linus
Supervisor:Hajdu, Flora and Ndesanjo, Ronald
Examiner:Beckman, Malin
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2023
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM009 Rural Development and Natural Resource Management - Master's Programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:nature restoration, power relations, carbon forestry
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Development economics and policies
Nature conservation and land resources
Deposited On:21 Feb 2023 09:30
Metadata Last Modified:22 Feb 2023 11:58

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