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Seeing like a standard: EU, sustainable biofuels, and land use change in Africa

Widengård, Marie and Nightingale, Andrea and Roberntz, Peter and Edman, Tobias and Carlson, Allan (2018). Seeing like a standard: EU, sustainable biofuels, and land use change in Africa. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies. 17 , 49-87
[Journal article]

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Abstract

Biofuels have expanded across the globe, generating a range of concerns in the places of production. One approach to controlling the effects of biofuel production has been sustainability standards. This article takes a ‘seeing like’ approach to analyse how the EU Sustainability standard contributes to narrowing the vision of what sustainable biofuels are. Six biofuel cases in Africa are examined through the lens of the standard, using remote sensing to investigate the criteria on land use and canopy cover change. The standard view is also compared to on ground views regarding the sustainability of the projects. The effects of seeing like the EU standard are two: 1) diluted seeing, which prioritises global environmental problems over more nuanced social and institutional aspects; and 2) distributed seeing, which transforms standardised sustainable biofuels into multiple, uncertain forms because of hybrid governance. High carbon losses due to biofuel projects were detected, but at the same time, the standard simplifies and skips over wider problems related to unsustainable biofuel projects.

Authors/Creators:Widengård, Marie and Nightingale, Andrea and Roberntz, Peter and Edman, Tobias and Carlson, Allan
Title:Seeing like a standard: EU, sustainable biofuels, and land use change in Africa
Year of publishing :2018
Volume:17
Page range:49-87
Number of Pages:39
Publisher:Okanagan University College. Dept. of Geography.
ISSN:1492-9732
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 107 Other Natural Sciences > Other Natural Sciences not elsewhere specified
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 507 Social and Economic Geography > Human Geography
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 509 Other Social Sciences > Social Sciences Interdisciplinary (Peace and Conflict Research and Studies on Sustainable Society)
Keywords:Biofuels, land use change, standards, sustainability criteria, EU, sub-Saharan Africa
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-99816
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-99816
ID Code:16099
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:21 May 2019 06:31
Metadata Last Modified:21 May 2019 06:31

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