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Guest Post: REDD Resistance around the world

Guest Post: REDD Resistance around the worldThe idea behind reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation sounds simple. If forests are worth more standing than cut down, companies and governments will stop clearing forests. Why would anyone oppose this?

Well, it turns out that making forests worth more standing than cut down is far from simple. From the beginning, REDD was envisaged as a carbon trading mechanism. The “ultimate goal” of the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Fund is to “jump-start a forest carbon market”, according to the Bank’s press release at its launch in Bali in 2007.

Five years later, the forest carbon market is still stalled. Last year, the number of traded REDD credits fell to 7.4 million from 19.5 million in 2010. Several REDD observers have moved from questioning REDD to outright opposition.

Kjell Kühne has compiled a list of anti-REDD statements. It’s useful to have the information collected in one place so it’s posted here as a guest post. If there are statements missing, please let me know in the comments.

REDD Resistance around the world

By Kjell Kühne, November 2012
If you are against REDD, you are not alone. Around the world, a growing number of communities, organizations and movements as well as experts are not limiting themselves to asking critical questions about REDD any more, they have explicitly declared their opposition to the mechanism. A coalition of indigenous peoples’ organizations has called for a global moratorium on REDD projects. Bolivia has a mandate (from the Cochabamba People’s Summit) to not let REDD pass at the UNFCCC level. Interpol has warned about the opportunities REDD provides for organized crime. If you are not into the REDD business because you hope to make some money with it, then you should start asking yourself whether all these voices can and should be dismissed.
Here is a list of anti-REDD declarations:

Here is a more complete list with an analysis of the elements and arguments of each of the declarations.
Some resources that explain some of the reasons why REDD is not such a smart choice for people and the planet:

We must end the age of fossil fuels and transition to an economy fully powered by renewable energies, in order to reestablish climatic balance on our home planet. And we must protect what is left of our forests by focussing our energies on the principal drivers of deforestation. Both tasks are not easy. By redirecting time and efforts currently bound up in the illusion of a REDD mechanism that works for people and the climate could help move these tasks forward.


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  1. @Kjell Kühne (#1) – Thanks for this. I’ve added Morales’ statement to the list, along with the Kari-Oca 2 Declaration (June 2012).

    If anyone knows of any more missing statements, please leave a comment and I’ll add them to the list. Thanks!

  2. Event REDD+ !!!!!!!!!!! Stil wrong
    For nearly a decade, from local to international debate, the REDD+ mechanism (Reduce Emission from Deforestation and Degradation, and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks) has been seen undoubtly as a “perfect” solution, or at least “a success story” (….) in coping global issues such as: climate changes, poverty, injustice, social exploitaion and so on.
    Among many challenges – “from how to measure and monitor the carbon emissions avoided by leaving a forest standing, to deciding who should get the money generated by REDD+” (Daniel Cooney, June 18, 2012 on CIFOR website), issues relative to land tenue where the forests tand is central.
    However, in thinking at the bottom line, this concept of ownership is totally problematic. It therefore, the current REDD+ mechanism can’t be workable unless it is redefined.
    Actually, the forests are not belong to us – human being
    We are – human being have somehow confused ourself, disconnected ourself from nature – so changed the meaning of the world nature.
    As Satish Kurma – a very well known environmentalist in a talk with the London School of Economic in 2006 said: “human might getting rich of nationalism, racesism, sexism. But they are not yet thinking of speciscism”.
    As a result of that, for hundred years of history, human has seen itself as the owner of the Earth. So human has ruled over nature – done what human like – cutting down the rain forests as has been doing.
    However, actually, the idea of ownership is not true – it has to shift to the idea of relansioship.
    “We are in secret relationship to the Earth with the Earth” – words of Satish Kurma (in a talk with the London School of Economic in 2006).
    Coming back to the opening question – how can we own forests when we are human, not rightly rulers of the earth – not the owner of the earth? At this point, how can we have the idea of ownership in REDD+ when the actual ownwership right does not exist?
    How can we fix the problem?
    We can not solve the issue unless we begin at the root cause – redefining the current concept of forest ownership.
    According to Agrawal & Ostrom – well known shcolars, the current property right cocept is defined as with bundles of rights there is a bundle of rights associated with the current concept of land tenue, wich are: withdrawal, management, exclusion and alienation.
    However, under the idea of Satish Kurma, there is no right of owning the forests. Instead, we should have a concept like paying to those whose life is really and directly is depended on the forests.
    Through this shift we can gain win-win solution. Firstly, we can pay people who have contribution to keeping the forests stand. Those people often are indigenous people – with localities.
    The other one is we can litmit resistances from indigenous people in confronting inititors of the REDD+ mechanism such as the UN, government agencies and NGOs. As Anne Petermann, Executive Director of the Global Justice Ecology Project worried at the REDD Forum in Cancun 2010: “countries and companies can continue polluting by saying that they’re protecting forests somewhere else that will supposedly sequester the carbon that they’re putting out into the atmosphere…”.