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  • 1. Andersson, Krister P.
    et al.
    Smith, Steven M.
    Alston, Lee J.
    Duchelle, Amy E.
    Mwangi, Esther
    Larson, Anne M.
    de Sassi, Claudio
    Sills, Erin O.
    Sunderlin, William D.
    Wong, Grace Y.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Wealth and the distribution of benefits from tropical forests: Implications for REDD2018In: Land use policy, ISSN 0264-8377, E-ISSN 1873-5754, Vol. 72, p. 510-522Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Interventions to strengthen forest conservation in tropical biomes face multiple challenges. Insecure land tenure and unequal benefit sharing within forest user groups are two of the most important. Using original household level survey data from 130 villages in six countries, we assess how current wealth inequality relates to tenure security and benefit flows from forest use. We find that villages with higher wealth inequality report lower tenure security and more unequal flows from forest income and externally sourced income. Furthermore, we find that wealthier individuals within villages capture a disproportionately larger share of the total amount of forest benefits available to each village, while external income often benefits poorer individuals more. These findings suggest that unless future forest conservation interventions actively work to mitigate inequalities linked to existing forest benefit flows, there is a risk that these interventions-including those associated with REDD + activities reproduce or even aggravate pre-existing socioeconomic inequalities within user groups, potentially undermining both their conservation and economic objectives.

  • 2. Bong, Indah Waty
    et al.
    Moeliono, Moira
    Wong, Grace Yee
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Brockhaus, Maria
    What is success? Gaps and trade-offs in assessing the performance of traditional social forestry systems in Indonesia2019In: Forest and Society, ISSN 2549-4724, Vol. 3, no 1, p. 1-21Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite the growing interest in social forestry (SF), how much do we understand the social, economic and environmental outcomes and the conditions that enable SF to perform? In this article, we use a content analysis of literature on existing traditional SF practiced throughout Indonesia. It examines the outcomes of these systems and the conditions that enabled or hindered these outcomes to understand possible causal relations and changing dynamics between these conditions and SF performance. We discuss the gaps in how SF is assessed and understood in the literature to understand the important aspects of traditional SF that are not captured or that are lost when the diverse traditional systems are converted into other land uses. It aims to understand the potential trade-offs in the State's push for formalizing SF if these aspects continue to be ignored.

  • 3. Cole, Robert
    et al.
    Brockhaus, Maria
    Wong, Grace Y.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Kallio, Maarit H.
    Moeliono, Moira
    Local Agency in Development, Market, and Forest Conservation Interventions in Lao PDR's Northern Uplands2019In: Southeast Asian studies, ISSN 2186-7275, Vol. 8, no 2, p. 173-202Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Themes of inclusion, empowerment, and participation are recurrent in development discourse and interventions, implying enablement of agency on the part of communities and individuals to inform and influence how policies that affect them are enacted. This article aims to contribute to debates on participation in rural development and environmental conservation, by applying a structure-agency lens to examine experiences of marginal farm households in three distinct systems of resource allocation in Lao PDR's northern uplands-in other words, three institutional or (in)formal structures. These comprise livelihood development and poverty reduction projects, maize contract farming, and a national protected area. Drawing on qualitative data from focus group discussions and household surveys, the article explores the degree to which farmers may shape their engagement with the different systems, and ways in which agency may be enabled or disabled by this engagement. Our findings show that although some development interventions provide consultative channels for expressing needs, these are often within limited options set from afar. The market-based maize system, while in some ways agency-enabling, also entailed narrow choices and heavy dependence on external actors. The direct regulation of the protected area system meanwhile risked separating policy decisions from existing local knowledge. Our analytical approach moves beyond notions of agency commonly focused on decision-making and/or resistance, and instead revisits the structure-agency dichotomy to build a nuanced understanding of people's lived experiences of interventions. This allows for fresh perspectives on the every-day enablement or disablement of agency, aiming to support policy that is better grounded in local realities.

  • 4.
    Jiménez-Aceituno, Amanda
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Peterson, Garry D.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Norström, Albert
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Wong, Grace Y.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Downing, Andrea S.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Local lens for SDG implementation: lessons from bottom-up approaches in Africa2019In: Sustainability Science, ISSN 1862-4065, E-ISSN 1862-4057Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Anthropocene presents a set of interlinked sustainability challenges for humanity. The United Nations 2030 Agenda has identified 17 specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a way to confront these challenges. However, local initiatives have long been addressing issues connected to these goals in a myriad of diverse and innovative ways. We present a new approach to assess how local initiatives contribute to achieving the SDGs. We analyse how many, and how frequently, different SDGs and targets are addressed in a set of African initiatives. We consider goals and targets addressed by the same initiative as interacting between them. Then, we cluster the SDGs based on the combinations of goals and targets addressed by the initiatives and explore how SDGs differ in how local initiatives engage with them. We identify 5 main groups: SDGs addressed by broad-scope projects, SDGs addressed by specific projects, SDGs as means of implementation, cross-cutting SDGs and underrepresented SDGs. Goal 11 (sustainable cities & communities) is not clustered with any other goal. Finally, we explore the nuances of these groups and discuss the implications and relevance for the SDG framework to consider bottom-up approaches. Efforts to monitor the success on implementing the SDGs in local contexts should be reinforced and consider the different patterns initiatives follow to address the goals. Additionally, achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda will require diversity and alignment of bottom-up and top-down approaches.

  • 5. Kallio, Maarit Helena
    et al.
    Hogarth, Nicholas John
    Moeliono, Moira
    Brockhaus, Maria
    Cole, Robert
    Bong, Indah Waty
    Wong, Grace Yee
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    The colour of maize: Visions of green growth and farmers perceptions in northern Laos2019In: Land use policy, ISSN 0264-8377, E-ISSN 1873-5754, Vol. 80, p. 185-194Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The rapid expansion of hybrid maize in the uplands of northern Laos is viewed by the government as meeting policy aims related to green economic development. Yet, growing evidence of negative consequences of maize expansion are emerging. Based on farmers' perceptions, we study: (1) farmers' reasons for adopting and abandoning maize, and; (2) implications of commercial maize expansion on local livelihood security and inclusiveness (food supply, income, risk coping, and ability to join maize growing), and environmental sustainability (productivity, and soil and forest quality) over time (2013 and 2016). Results show that maize has advantages in terms of labour allocation, and it provides much-needed cash income. Yet, swidden is the main food provider and an essential safety net for unforeseen risks (including maize crop failures or price fluctuations). The way that maize was produced did not meet the criteria of green economic development due to its negative effects on the environment (soil and forest degradation) and socioeconomic sustainability (household differentiation, increased economic risks, debts, and food insecurity). By providing a local perspective, this study encourages a critical reflection of the underlying assumptions and conceptualization of the green economy approach in Laos, and argues for policies and measures that consider a more holistic perspective of human wellbeing and the environment.

  • 6. Kenney-Lazar, Miles
    et al.
    Wong, Grace
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Centre for International Forestry Research, Indonesia.
    Baral, Himlal
    Russell, Aaron J. M.
    Greening rubber? Political ecologies of plantation sustainability in Laos and Myanmar2018In: Geoforum, ISSN 0016-7185, E-ISSN 1872-9398, Vol. 92, p. 96-105Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Over the past decade, the cultivation of rubber trees has expanded rapidly throughout the Mekong region to non-traditional rubber growing areas of Laos and Myanmar. Prompted by rising prices from 1990 to 2010 and government agro-industrialization policies, farmers and investors have rushed to plant the new boom crop. A latex price crash in 2011, however, has made it more challenging for small-scale producers to earn an income, leading to uneven social-ecological transformations and economic consequences. Several proposals have been made to address these challenges by transforming rubber into a more economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable crop. In this paper, which emerged from one such project to investigate the potential for green rubber, we argue that the sustainability of rubber is a challenging and elusive prospect - particularly in resource frontier contexts like Laos and Myanmar. Concepts like sustainability or green production are vague and malleable. They can be imbued with a variety of contradictory meanings, which often do not address the most socially and environmentally problematic aspects of cash crop expansion. Sustainable rubber, if rigorously and specifically defined, would be exceedingly difficult to reach in both countries, due to the ways in which political-economic and governance factors interact with the biophysical and social characteristics of the crop. Instead, we recommend using sustainability as a political tool for highlighting the most harmful socio-environmental impacts of rubber and generating debate concerning the best ways to address these, thus limiting unsustainable practices.

  • 7. Maharani, Cynthia D.
    et al.
    Moeliono, Moira
    Wong, Grace Y.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Brockhaus, Maria
    Carmenta, Rachel
    Kallio, Maarit
    Development and equity: A gendered inquiry in a swidden landscape2019In: Forest Policy and Economics, ISSN 1389-9341, E-ISSN 1872-7050, Vol. 101, p. 120-128Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Market-driven development is transforming swidden landscapes and having different impacts along intersections of gender, age and class. In Kapuas Hulu, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, Dayak communities practicing swidden agriculture are making choices on maintaining traditional land use systems, and engaging in rubber, oil palm and conservation (REDD + ) in their livelihood strategies. Although REDD + has been heralded as an alternative to oil palm as a sustainable development option, it is still far from full implementation. Meanwhile, oil palm has become a reality, with large scale plantations that offer job opportunities and produce new sources of prestige, but create contestations around traditional land use systems. We employ the gender asset agriculture project (GAAP) framework and apply an intersectional lens to highlight power relations underlying gendered differences in land, labor and social capital in this process of transformation. Our findings suggest that market interventions produce major changes for men and women, young and old, land cultivators and wage earners. This has created new opportunities for some and new risks for others, with those having power to access diverse types of knowledge, ranging from inheritance rights to market information and job opportunities, best able to exploit such opportunities.

  • 8.
    Masterson, Vanessa A.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Vetter, S.
    Chaigneau, T.
    Daw, Tim M.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Selomane, Odirilwe
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa.
    Hamann, M.
    Wong, Grace Y.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Mellegård, Viveca
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Cocks, M.
    Tengö, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Revisiting the relationships between human well-being and ecosystems in dynamic social-ecological systems: Implications for stewardship and development2019In: Global Sustainability, E-ISSN 2059-4798, Vol. 2, article id e8Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Non-technical summary We argue that the ways in which we as humans derive well-being from nature - for example by harvesting firewood, selling fish or enjoying natural beauty - feed back into how we behave towards the environment. This feedback is mediated by institutions (rules, regulations) and by individual capacities to act. Understanding these relationships can guide better interventions for sustainably improving well-being and alleviating poverty. However, more attention needs to be paid to how experience-related benefits from nature influence attitudes and actions towards the environment, and how these relationships can be reflected in more environmentally sustainable development projects. Technical summary In the broad literatures that address the linked challenge of maintaining ecosystem integrity while addressing poverty and inequality, there is still a need to investigate how linkages and feedbacks between ecosystem services and well-being can be taken into account to ensure environmental sustainability and improved livelihoods. We present a conceptual model towards a dynamic and reciprocal understanding of the feedbacks between human well-being and ecosystems. The conceptual model highlights three mechanisms through which people derive benefits from ecosystems (use, money and experience), and illustrates how these benefits can affect values, attitudes and actions towards ecosystems. Institutions and agency determine access to and distribution of benefits and costs, and also present barriers or enabling factors for individual or collective action. The conceptual model synthesises insights from existing but mostly separate bodies of literature on well-being and the benefits humans derive from ecosystems, and reveals gaps and areas for future research. Two case studies illustrate how recognizing the full feedback loop between how ecosystems support human well-being and how people behave towards those ecosystems, as well as intervention points within the loop, can guide better action for sustainable poverty alleviation and stewardship of the biosphere. 

  • 9. Sahide, Muhammad A. K.
    et al.
    Fisher, Micah R.
    Maryudi, Ahmad
    Wong, Grace Yee
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Supratman, Supratman
    Alam, Syamsu
    The bureaucratic politics of conservation in governing land conflict: A typology of capacities2019In: MethodsX, ISSN 1258-780X, E-ISSN 2215-0161, Vol. 6, p. 2536-2543Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent land management policies around the world have experienced a broader political push to resolve forest and land tenure conflict through agrarian reform policy. As a result, conservation bureaucracies are responding with both formal and informal interventions to acknowledge the role of people in forests. In this methods paper, we provide a closer examination of the ways that conservation bureaucracies apply their political capacity in negotiating forest and land tenure conflicts. Our proposed method measures both the capacity and actions of conservation bureaucracies, combining formal dimensions (such as of legal status, budget availability, and the type of organization unit) with informal dimensions (including ways of gaining authority, donors and funding, and trust). The framing is rooted in theories of bureaucratic politics, and while culled from rich empirical experiences from Indonesia, the proposed method is also applicable in examining bureaucratic politics in other natural resource governance contexts.

  • 10.
    Wong, Grace Yee
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Indonesia.
    Loft, Lasse
    Brockhaus, Maria
    Yang, Anastasia Lucy
    Thu, Thuy
    Assembe-Mvondo, Samuel
    Luttrell, Cecilia
    An Assessment Framework for Benefit Sharing Mechanisms to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation within a Forest Policy Mix2017In: Environmental Policy and Governance, ISSN 1756-932X, E-ISSN 1756-9338, Vol. 27, no 5, p. 436-452Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Policy instruments for implementing the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+) mechanism operate within an orchestra of policy mixes that affect the forest and other land sectors. How will policymakers choose between the myriad of options for distributing REDD+ benefits, and be able to evaluate its potential effectiveness, efficiency and equity (3Es)? This is a pressing issue given the results-based aspect of REDD+. We present here a three-element assessment framework for evaluating the outcomes and performance of REDD+ benefit sharing mechanisms, using the criteria of effectiveness, efficiency and equity: (1) the structures (objective and policies) of a REDD+ benefit sharing mechanism; (2) the broader institutional and policy contexts underlying forest governance; (3) outcomes of REDD+ including emission reductions, ecosystem service provision and poverty alleviation. A strength of the assessment framework is its flexible design to incorporate indicators relevant to different contexts; this helps to generate a shared working understanding of what is to be evaluated in the different REDD+ benefit sharing mechanisms (BSMs) across complex socio-political contexts. In applying the framework to case studies, the assessment highlights trade-offs among the 3Es, and the need to better manage access to information, monitoring and evaluation, consideration of local perceptions of equity and inclusive decisionmaking processes. The framework does not aim to simplify complexity, but rather serves to identify actionable ways forward towards a more efficient, effective and equitable implementation and re-evaluation of REDD+ BSMs as part of reflexive policymaking.

  • 11.
    Wong, Grace Yee
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Luttrell, Cecilia
    Loft, Lasse
    Yang, Anastasia
    Thuy, Thu
    Naito, Daisuke
    Assembe-Mvondo, Samuel
    Brockhaus, Maria
    Narratives in REDD plus benefit sharing: examining evidence within and beyond the forest sector2019In: Climate Policy, ISSN 1469-3062, E-ISSN 1752-7457, Vol. 19, no 8, p. 1038-1051Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    REDD+ was designed globally as a results-based instrument to incentivize emissions reduction from deforestation and forest degradation. Over 50 countries have developed strategies for REDD+, implemented pilot activities and/or set up forest monitoring and reporting structures, safeguard systems and benefit sharing mechanisms (BSMs), offering lessons on how particular ideas guide policy design. The implementation of REDD+ at national, sub-national and local levels required payments to filter through multiple governance structures and priorities. REDD+ was variously interpreted by different actors in different contexts to create legitimacy for certain policy agendas. Using an adapted 3E (effectiveness, efficiency, equity and legitimacy) lens, we examine four common narratives underlying REDD+ BSMs: (1) that results-based payment (RBP) is an effective and transparent approach to reducing deforestation and forest degradation; (2) that emphasis on co-benefits risks diluting carbon outcomes; (3) that directing REDD+ benefits predominantly to poor smallholders, forest communities and marginalized groups helps address equity; and (4) that social equity and gender concerns can be addressed by well-designed safeguards. This paper presents a structured examination of eleven BSMs from within and beyond the forest sector and analyses the evidence to variably support and challenge these narratives and their underlying assumptions to provide lessons for REDD+ BSM design. Our findings suggest that contextualizing the design of BSMs, and a reflexive approach to examining the underlying narratives justifying particular design features, is critical for achieving effectiveness, equity and legitimacy. Key policy insights A results-based payment approach does not guarantee an effective REDD+; the contexts in which results are defined and agreed, along with conditions enabling social and political acceptance, are critical. A flexible and reflexive approach to designing a benefit-sharing mechanism that delivers emissions reductions at the same time as co-benefits can increase perceptions of equity and participation. Targeting REDD+ to smallholder communities is not by default equitable, if wider rights and responsibilities are not taken into account Safeguards cannot protect communities or society without addressing underlying power and gendered relations. The narratives and their underlying generic assumptions, if not critically examined, can lead to repeated failure of REDD+ policies and practices.

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