Governing carbon stored in natural and human-managed ecosystems is an emerging area in global climate politics. Many developed and developing countries are devising and implementing a range of reform programs that aim to reduce emissions and increase sequestration in the land use, land use change and forestry, and agricultural sectors. In developing countries, mitigation programs and projects on the ground have accelerated under the global program Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). The article applies a governmentality framework to analyze these policies and programs as forms of administrative, economic, and deliberative rationalities and associated technologies. What emerges in the analysis is that governing is conducted through common technologies including policy instruments and rules, stakeholder engagement processes, and the application of the same technical monitoring and carbon accounting methodologies. In the case of REDD+, there has been strong emphasis on the introduction of market and incentive approaches, but the major reforms have focused on government regulatory programs and building technical and administrative capacity. Importantly, this is allowing national and sub-national governments to extend their authority across all aspects of the reform agenda, which poses significant challenges for reducing forest loss in developing countries.

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