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Doing and undoing forests in Europe [Humans and Other Living Beings Network (HOLB)] 
Agata Konczal (Wageningen University)
Jodie Asselin (University of Lethbridge)
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Thursday 25 July, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid
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Short Abstract:

This panel looks at how forests are done and undone - discursive and physically. It traces how forest-related initiatives can reproduce problematic power dynamics and contribute to regional and environmental harm. It discusses how forest plans are implemented in particular localities.

Long Abstract:

An ongoing shift in global and European policy puts forests (through restoration, afforestation, reforestation, and rewilding) at the centre of many environmental agendas. The potential role of forests in climate mitigation has shifted typical debates about forestry (to cut or not to cut) to more complex scenarios. No longer, if they ever were, can forests be understood as a local phenomenon. Instead, they are increasingly imagined as a collection of global goods and affordances. In Europe the question is not any more if the forest should reappear but how, when, for whom and what kind of forest it should be. Anthropologists are well positioned to interrogate such moments of ‘doing’ and ‘undoing’ forested landscapes.

This panel brings together case studies from across Europe (broadly understood) united by the concerns of how forest plans are implemented on the ground covering such issues as land grabbing, draining bogs to plant forests, the creation of green deserts, increasing local inequality, and upsetting property regimes. This panel invites speakers who explore diverse regional case studies while investigating patterns including: how forests are turned into “remedies” for global and local problems, and how forest challenges and obstacles are defined by states, international agencies, global corporations or finance investments companies. In doing so, we will examine how green discourses manifest themselves on the ground and how they get translated, (mis)used and applied in particular localities, tracing how forest-related initiatives reproduce problematic power dynamics and contribute to further regional and environmental harm.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 25 July, 2024, -
Session 2 Thursday 25 July, 2024, -