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Creating property out of insecurity: territorialization and legitimation of REDD+ in Lindi, Tanzania
The Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-03-22, DOI: 10.1080/07329113.2021.1900512
Melis Ece


The international REDD+ programme to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation emphasises financial incentives, property rights in forest carbon and control over forest land to attain market-based conservation goals in the Global South. REDD+ territorialization attempts are shaped by carbon markets and by their embeddedness in institutional and legal contexts, where different actors struggle to establish authority, legitimacy and claims to land and forests. In Tanzania, the market-oriented pathways of REDD+ projects have been integrated into land use planning, land titling and the creation of village land forest reserves. Through a case study of a pilot project in Lindi, Tanzania, this article analyses how particular kinds of property rights and territorial control are contested and legitimated through market-based and human rights-based discourses invoked by project actors, government officers and village communities in REDD+ projects. These processes bring together different rationalities and practices of territorialization over property rights in carbon, forests and land. The case study illustrates the role that property languages play in legitimating and persuading different audiences, as REDD+ projects reconfigure property rights over forest land, fuelling land conflicts and heightening insecurity.