Weaving Partial Stories: More-than-human Entanglements and Environmental Governance Experiments in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Different goals and assumptions enable and legitimise the ways that climate change is understood and governed through increasingly urgent, experimental, and heterogeneous interventions. We examine the ontological politics of ‘piloting’ Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) by weaving together stories from our ethnographic fieldwork in Central Suau, Papua New Guinea and Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Weaving partial stories is a methodological technique to examine encounters and disputes over REDD+ activities that entangle land, livelihoods, people, non-human beings, sorcery, and carbon among other entities. We propose the term ethical distance to conceptualise and foreground how governance experimentation in REDD+intersects with local lives in ways that can reproduce and reinscribe inequalities. By attending to more- than-human entanglements and partiality, we underscore ethical dilemmas and the need to slow down our reasoning in proposing solutions to climate change.