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IKD Seminar Series - Forests of Refuge: Decolonising Environmental Governance in the Amazonian Guiana Shield

Thu, 28 March 2024, 12:30 to 14:00

MS Teams

In this IKD seminar Ariadne Collins talks about her new book. Forests of Refuge questions the effectiveness of market-based policies aimed at governing forests in the interest of mitigating climate change. In this talk about her forthcoming book, Collins will interrogate the implementation of the biggest and most ambitious global plan to incentivize people away from deforesting activities, the United Nations endorsed Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) initiative. Forests of Refuge explores REDD+ in Guyana and neighbouring Suriname, two highly forested countries in the Guiana Shield with low deforestation rates where conservation efforts would be expected to have a relatively easy path. Yet, REDD+ has been fraught with challenges. The talk will situate these challenges in the inattentiveness of global environmental policies to roughly five hundred years of colonial histories that positioned the forests as places of refuge and resistance. It will advocate that the fruits of these oppressive histories be reckoned with through processes of decolonization. Forests of Refuge shows that pursuing decolonization in countries shaped almost entirely by the colonial encounter depends on reducing deference to the sovereign state in questions of environmental governance; removing the market from its increasingly central position as arbiter of environmental and social affairs; un-disciplining the racialized subjects of colonial governance, and amplifying those ethics and ways of being in the world that are associated with pre-colonial and non-Eurocentric knowledge traditions. 

WATCH: Forests of Refuge: Decolonizing Environmental Governance in the Amazonian Guiana Shield

On 28 March 2024, IKD had the honour to host Ariadne Collins. She presented some of the key arguments in her recent book (02:32). The presentation was followed by a Q&A (minute 48:20 till end).


Ariadne Collins is a Lecturer in the School of International Relations. Her work lies at the intersection of climate change governance, environmental policy and international development. More specifically, she analyses the interplay between market-based conservation and post-colonial development. Her work features an emphasis on processes of racialization and histories of colonialism, and their challenge to the successful enactment of forest governance policies in the Global South. Ariadne was awarded a PhD (Summa cum laude) from Central European University in Budapest, Hungary in May, 2017. She holds a Masters in Research (Distinction) from the University of Westminster, London and a Bachelors from the University of Guyana. 


Dinar Kale works in the area of entrepreneurship and innovation in healthcare technology industries with extensive research on industrial innovation, industrial-health policy linkages and health access in developing countries. Prof. Kale has researched and published extensively on issues that influence entrepreneurship, innovation and development of healthcare industries based in low-middle-income countries. One strand of his research has focused on exploring links between migration, entrepreneurship, and innovation through the prism of tacit knowledge. His recent research explores the role of trans-local migrant entrepreneurship in improving the economic competitiveness of local economies in the global south.  Over the years, Prof. Kale has published in leading journals in the area of Business Studies (BS), Development Studies (DS) and Innovation Studies (IS), such as the British Journal of Management, Research Policy, World Development, Industrial and Corporate Change, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Innovation and Development and Technology Analysis and Strategic Management. 

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