Dr. Yolanda Ariadne Collins defended her Dissertation titled “REDD+ Unravelled: A Discursive Analysis of Neoliberal Forest Conservation in Guyana and Suriname” at the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy in May, 2017 under the supervision of Dr. Guntra Aistara.
Since then, Dr. Collins has drawn on her dissertation to publish two articles in the newly established ‘E’ series of the Environment and Planning suite of Journals and in the well-established journal Geoforum.
The first paper, titled “How REDD+ governs: Multiple forest environmentalities in Guyana and Suriname” is a contribution to a Special Issue on Environmentality. The paper uses Environmentality, a Foucauldian inspired theoretical approach, to identify the different strategies employed in governing the environment through the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism. REDD+ is a globally driven, market-based environmental policy. The paper challenges the dominant use of the environmentality lens, which focuses on how REDD+ introduces new forms of environmentality, by showing how REDD+ builds on pre-existing, context-specific approaches to governance instead. In so doing, the paper further develops the critical potential of the environmentality lens by demonstrating how environmentality’s temporal dimensions illuminate the shifts, continuities and disruptions in how environmental governance evolves over time.
The Geoforum paper, “Colonial residue: REDD+, territorialisation and the racialized subject in Guyana and Suriname” shows how REDD+ is racialized in practice. It contributes to the neoliberal conservation literature by demonstrating that colonial histories are sedimented in racialized subjectivities and land management practices where certain economic activities, geographical sites and interactions with the natural environment became the stronghold of different groups. The paper shows how REDD+ is challenged by the legacy of these racialized land use practices and social relations rooted in the defining colonial period in Guyana and Suriname.
Dr. Collins, who graduated under the supervision of Dr. Aistara as one of her first students, is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry, Berlin.