The Transnationalisation of Competing State Projects: Carbon Offsetting and Development in Sumatra's Coastal Peat Swamps

Indonesia's peatlands can be considered as conflict arenas where different state projects and actors compete. The case presented here stands for a new conservation controversy. The Berbak Carbon Initiatives overlap with a settlement project, inducing struggles among different state apparatuses, transnational actors, and peasants. This article is based on a novel conceptual approach building on political ecology, politics of scale and state theory for investigating divergent and transnationalised state projects. Empirically we draw on qualitative research conducted in the province of Jambi, Sumatra. We argue that the territorial conflicts mirror the contradictory interests of different state apparatuses influenced by conservation-oriented and development-oriented actors in society but also by supra-national planning institutions. In our case, the contestation becomes visible through inconsistent notions of development and property. We show how political change challenges the implementation of a forest carbon project, illustrating the high risks of mitigating climate change through offsetting. © 2018 The Author. Antipode © 2018 Antipode Foundation Ltd.
  • Authors: Hein, J., Faust, H., Kunz, Y., Mardiana, R.
  • Author Affiliation: Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB), German Development Institute
  • Subjects: peatlands, conservation, coastal areas, swamps, policy, governance, land tenure, conflict, migration
  • Publication type: Journal Article
  • Source: Antipode 50(4): 953-975
  • Year: 2018
  • DOI:
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