REDD-Monitor’s round-up of the week’s news on forests, climate change, and REDD. For regular updates, follow @reddmonitor on Twitter.
Women Building Power launches THREE ACTIVIST GUIDES to support women and communities across Africa in their struggles for climate justice and sustainable energy futures!
WoMin, March 2019
The world is hurtling towards a climate crisis in which Africa and particularly peasant and working-class women will be hardest hit. Yet we are being fed corporate-driven solutions that are about making more profit at the expense of people and planet and about avoiding regulation to curb emissions. These false solutions will delay putting real, urgent and effective solutions into action. But women are fighting back against false solutions in defence of land, water, forests, families and communities.
Learn more about the different kinds of false solutions and how feminist movements are rallying for the ‘right to say NO’ to these solutions while building meaningful alternatives for a just and sustainable future!
Uganda’s REDD+ Strategy and Action Plan
Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda, March 2019
Uganda’s REDD+ Strategy and Action Plan is intended to help to improve the status of forest resources, mitigate climate change effects, promote fair and balanced benefits including gender consideration and the welfare of communities in general and forest dependent indigenous communities. In addition, the REDD+ Strategy and Action Plan will improve the existing negative perceptions, attitudes and practices by forest, trees, and climate change management stakeholders and this will among others, contribute to sustainable socioeconomic development.
4 March 2019
Celebrity Explorer Ben Fogle Has Suspended His Role As WWF Ambassador Following A BuzzFeed News Investigation
By Tom Warren and Katie J.M. Baker, BuzzFeed, 4 March 2019
Celebrity explorer Ben Fogle has suspended his role as an ambassador for World Wide Fund for Nature following BuzzFeed News’ revelations that the charity has supported forces implicated in committing human rights abuses across Africa and Asia.
Fogle is a well-known television personality in the UK, famed for his expeditions to far-flung locales including the Arctic Circle and Mount Everest. The adventurer, who once rowed across the Atlantic, is a celebrity supporter of a number of charities.
Charity urges protection for world’s poorest from corporate ‘land grabs’
By Sorcha Pollak, The Irish Times, 4 March 2019
Almost 250 people around the world were murdered last year for defending land, indigenous people and environmental rights, according to a report by Trócaire.
The charity said more than 1,400 attacks had been carried out on activists working on human rights issues since 2015 as it called for a legally binding treaty to protect the rights of people in the developing world whose lives have been destroyed by transnational companies taking over large swathes of land.
Rethink Activism in the Face of Catastrophic Biological Collapse
By Dahr Jamail and Barbara Cecil, Truthout, 4 March 2019
This is a hard piece to write, partly because we, too, are baffled. Environmental collapse, coupled with living in the sixth mass extinction, are new territory. We are still in the process of confronting the reality of living with the prospect of an unlivable planet. These thoughts emerge out of our sober forays into an uncertain future, searching for the right ways to live and serve in the present. The second reason for our reluctance to share this contemplation is anticipation of the grief, anger and fear it may trigger. We visit these chambers of the heart frequently, and know the challenges of deep feeling, particularly in a culture that denies feelings and pathologizes death.
Green activists push soya traders on Brazil deforestation
By Anna Gross, Financial Times, 4 March 2019
Climate activists are pushing the world’s largest agricultural traders to go “beyond nice statements” and enact concrete measures to tackle deforestation caused by soya production in Brazil’s Cerrado region.
Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge, Cargill, Louis Dreyfus — known as the “ABCD” of agricultural traders — as well as Cofco International and Glencore, have committed to sharing granular data on their suppliers in the Cerrado, an abundant savannah in central Brazil that has been at the heart of the largest agribusiness boom in decades.
‘We are fighting’: Brazil’s indigenous groups unite to protect their land
By Dom Phillips, The Guardian, 4 March 2019
“A united people will never be defeated!” shouted Maria Betânia Mota, as the indigenous assembly in a partially burned-out agricultural college began. Hundreds of voices roared back in approval.
Betânia Mota is the women’s secretary of its organisers, the Indigenous Council of Roraima (CIR), which represents the majority of those living in the 1.7m hectares of savannah and scrub that make up the Raposa Serra do Sol reserve in Brazil’s northernmost state.
[India] Elephant Corridor Near Kaziranga Remains Blocked Even After SC Order to Remove
By Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty, The Wire, 4 March 2019
An elephant corridor near Kaziranga National Park, Assam, continues to be blocked by a concrete wall erected by Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL), an oil company in the state’s Golaghat district. This is even after the Supreme Court set aside its civil appeal defending the action.
NRL is a Miniratna public-sector enterprise under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. It was inaugurated in 1999 by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. More recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for its biodiesel plant.
Paying for ecosystem services, a successful approach to reducing deforestation in Mexico
By Stefano Pagiola, World Bank, 4 March 2019
Forested land provides a wide variety of benefits: they regulate water flows, sequester carbon, and harbor biodiversity. But farm communities receive few of these benefits. For them, forested lands mean some fuelwood, timber, perhaps some fruit — benefits that are much lower than those they could get by cutting the trees down and cultivating the land or using it for pasture. It’s not surprising, then, that many of them choose to do so, resulting in high rates of deforestation throughout the world.
[Pakistan] KP can enhance forestry up to 30pc
The Nation, 4 March 2019
Blessed with bounties of natural resources varying from deserts to Alpine meadows, rivers, plenty of sunshine and rich biodiversity, Khyber Pakthunkhwa is the most suitable province of Pakistan with a colossal potential to enhance forest areas up to 30pc. The forest area can be enhanced by using the vast barren land of merged tribal districts of erstwhile FATA to counter challenges being posed by global warming and climate change.
[UK] Ucis director jailed for hiding assets
By Rachel Addison, FT Advisor, 4 March 2019
The director of an unauthorised collective investment scheme involved in losses of more than £15m has been sentenced to six months in prison for breaching freezing injunctions and attempting to hide information about his assets.
In March last year the Financial Conduct Authority won its case against Robert McKendrick who, among others, was ordered to pay losses associated with unauthorised investment schemes Africa Land and Reforestation Projects, also known as Capital Carbon Credits.
The High Court found the schemes had been unlawfully promoted to the public by “false, misleading and deceptive statements”.
Vietnam after nine years of REDD+ Readiness
By Akiko Inoguchi, UN-REDD Programme, 4 March 2019
“Graduation from the REDD+ readiness phase” is the short answer, but for Vietnam, it is more than that. REDD+ readiness has paved the way for transformational change in the forestry and land use sectors. Back in 2009, when REDD+ was launched in Vietnam, the focus of global and domestic stakeholders was largely on unpacking new acronyms, including REDD+ itself, and attempting to communicate them to multiple audiences. In retrospect, however, the key achievements of REDD+ readiness are represented by slogans of the Government, such as “from more forests to better forests”, advancing the forestry agenda to higher political levels through policies such as the Communist Party’s Directive 13 (2017), and the opening of space for more participation and stakeholder engagement. In 2009, REDD+ was considered the preserve of a specific division in the forestry administration under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). In 2019, REDD+ is managed through a State Steering Committee headed by the Deputy Prime Minister. This underscores not only the elevated importance of the REDD+ agenda, but also a wide appreciation of the multi-sectoral nature of REDD+, and the relevance of various agencies within and outside MARD.
5 March 2019
Internal Report Shows WWF Was Warned Years Ago Of “Frightening” Abuses
By Katie J.M. Baker and Tom Warren, BuzzFeed.News, 5 March 2019
The World Wide Fund for Nature was warned years ago that its staff was complicit in “frightening” raids on indigenous villages by anti-poaching eco-guards, internal documents reveal.
A BuzzFeed News investigation exposed on Monday how the beloved wildlife charity WWF has for years funded and equipped paramilitary forces that have tortured and killed villagers living near the national parks it supports.
UN Aviation Agency’s Decision Could Undercut EU Climate Progress
Environmental Defense Fund, 5 March 2019
As EU Environment Ministers meet today in Brussels to debate the EU’s long-term climate strategy, the powerful Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization is in Montreal, Canada finalizing carbon trading rules that could undercut progress in Europe’s flagship climate program, the EU Emissions Trading System. A decision from the ICAO Council, which includes representatives from the transport ministries of the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Sweden, could come as early as tomorrow.
Learning Session 62: Forests after Katowice – Updates on Global Policy
WWF, 5 March 2019
The Paris Agreement is proving to be resilient to the storms of global geopolitics. At COP24 in Katowice, Poland, countries made strides by adopting the Paris Rulebook. But what do these developments mean for forests? And what are the implications of the pending decisions?
In this learning session, Josefina Braña-Varela, WWF’s Senior Director of Forests and Climate, explains the relevant outcomes for forests from COP24, and discusses opportunities to continue momentum for forests in upcoming events.
Without indigenous leadership, zero-deforestation policies will fail
By Malika Virah-Sawmy and Tiago Reis, Mongabay, 5 March 2019
In recent years, companies operating in the Brazilian soy industry, such as Grupo André Maggi, Cargill, Bunge, and Archer Daniels Midland, have signed commitments to zero-deforestation in their supply chains (also known as deforestation-free agriculture). At the same time, a few European countries have signed the Amsterdam Declaration, which has the objective of supporting the private-sector goal of zero-deforestation.
Indigenous People regional dialogue reaffirms GCF commitment to vulnerable local communities
Green Climate Fund, 5 March 2019
The Regional dialogue of Indigenous peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean took place on 18-20 February in Managua, Nicaragua. Organised by the Government of Nicaragua, FILAC, and FAO and supported by the GCF Readiness Programme, the event brought together 100 participants, including representatives from 18 countries in the region including 25 Indigenous Peoples’ organisations, delegates from NDAs of LAC Governments and Accredited Entities.
Ben & Jerry’s and Poseidon Foundation pilot blockchain-based ‘Carbon currency’ project
Crypto Newsbytes, 5 March 2019
American Ice Cream maker Ben & Jerry’s is piloting a carbon trading platform powered by blockchain. They have partnered with the Poseidon Foundation for this pilot project.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has demonstrated that there is an urgent need to keep the rate of global warming to a manageable level. There is wide consensus that global warming is increasing due to the emission of the greenhouse gases (GHGs).
Why Bhutan Is All Alone in the Carbon-Neutral Nation Club
By Jeremy Hedges, Bloomberg, 5 March 2019
There’s a tiny nation nestled in the Himalaya mountains with so many trees — and so little pollution — that it actually gobbles up more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it produces. Alas for the fight against global climate change, most of the world’s countries aren’t like Bhutan. Instead, they spew out CO2 and other greenhouse gases faster than they can be contained. Countries are now pledging to fight climate change by slashing their net output of carbon dioxide to zero — becoming what’s known as “carbon-neutral.”
Forest Protection in Brazil Boosted through REDD-plus
UN Climate Change News, 5 March 2019
Forest protection in Brazil received an important boost this month as the Green Climate Fund at its 22nd Board meeting approved the first results-based payments for so-called “REDD-plus” activities.
REDD+ stands for ‘reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, conservation and sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks’ and refers to a policy framework under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) designed to provide payments to developing countries for keeping their forests rather than converting them to plantations or grazing land.
BHP buys stake in Canadian firm that extracts emissions from the air
By Barbara Lewis, Reuters, 5 March 2019
The world’s biggest coking coal producer BHP has bought a $6 million equity stake in a Canadian-based company that sucks carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, as miners’ quest to become sustainable and retain ethical investors gathers pace.
U.N. scientists warned last year that temperature rises could only be kept under control if much more radical action were taken, including lifestyle changes and technologies that capture and remove CO2 would be needed.
Senior U.S. Lawmakers Call For Urgent Review Of Funding For WWF Following BuzzFeed News Investigation
By Katie J.M. Baker, Tom Warren, and Emma Loop, BuzzFeed.News, 5 March 2019
Senior U.S. lawmakers have called for an immediate review of American aid funding for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) after BuzzFeed News revealed the charity bankrolls anti-poaching forces who have tortured and killed indigenous people.
WWF says that 1.2 million of its nearly 5 million donor members are in the United States, and the charity partners with federal agencies such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
“I strongly support efforts to combat wildlife trafficking, but this must not come at the cost of the health, safety, or life of innocent civilians,” Rep. Eliot Engel, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement. “If this reporting is accurate, WWF should do whatever it takes to root out the problems and demand accountability.”
6 March 2019
Human Rights abuses can no longer be tolerated in conserving the world’s forests
Forest Peoples Programme press release, 6 March 2019
Recent Buzzfeed reports about WWF hiring ‘paramilitary forces’ to fight poaching and the associated human rights abuses of local peoples show the urgent need for a shift in current conservation models.
Forest Peoples Programme Director, James Whitehead today said:
“To protect the world’s forests and wildlife while respecting the rights of those who have lived for generations in these areas we need a fundamental change in the approach taken to conservation globally.”
“The National Park model of excluding indigenous peoples and local communities is fundamentally flawed – we have witnessed countless examples of human rights abuses in conservation projects, stretching back to our formation in the 1990s.”
Survival International responds to latest Buzzfeed – WWF revelations
Survival International, 6 March 2019
Just one day after WWF announced an “investigation” into revelations that the guards it funds have tortured and killed people, Buzzfeed has revealed that WWF commissioned an investigation into similar reports four years ago – and then covered up the findings.
Survival International Director Stephen Corry responds today:
“Buzzfeed is uncovering a horror show involving murder, gang-rape and cover-ups. Their latest report shows how WWF seems pathologically incapable of acknowledging its complicity in human rights atrocities.
“It’s known for years that the paramilitary units it funds have beaten, tortured and killed, and its response is always the same – a smokescreen of meaningless promises of action, and then carry on as before.”
New UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration to inspire bold UN Environment Assembly decisions
UN environment, 6 March 2019
The UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, is the world’s leading decision-making forum. From 11 to 15 March 2019, it will be considering how best to improve outcomes for people and planet. Ecosystems will be high up on the agenda.
The timing looks good. The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030, declared on 1 March 2019 by the UN General Assembly, aims to massively scale up the restoration of degraded and destroyed ecosystems as a proven measure to fight climate change, and enhance food security, water supply and biodiversity.
CORSIA takes center stage
Airlines.iata, 6 March 2019
The numbers show what the Carbon Offset Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) will achieve.
Through CORSIA, international aviation will need to mitigate, on average, 164 million tonnes of CO2 each year. This figure will continue to grow as additional countries decide to participate in ICAO’s scheme. The Philippines and Uganda are the latest countries to volunteer and the expectation is that, by 2035, CORSIA offsetting requirements will reach 336 million tonnes annually.
UN aviation body agrees to close carbon emissions loophole
By Megan Darby, Climate Home News, 6 March 2019
Negotiators have agreed rules to prevent double-counting of carbon credits used to offset airline emissions, at a meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization (Icao) Council in Montreal, Canada.
The sector has committed to carbon-neutral growth from 2020. As air traffic growth outpaces efficiency improvements, airlines will be expected to pay for emissions reductions in other sectors to offset the climate impact.
‘Whole thing is unravelling’: climate change reshaping Australia’s forests
By Graham Readfern, The Guardian, 6 March 2019
Australia’s forests are being reshaped by climate change as droughts, heatwaves, rising temperatures and bushfires drive ecosystems towards collapse, ecologists have told Guardian Australia. Trees are dying, canopies are getting thinner and the rate that plants produce seeds is falling. Ecologists have long predicted that climate change would have major consequences for Australia’s forests. Now they believe those impacts are unfolding.
“The whole thing is unravelling,” says Prof David Bowman, who studies the impacts of climate change and fire on trees at the University of Tasmania. “Most people have no idea that it’s even happening. The system is trying to tell you that if you don’t pay attention then the whole thing will implode. We have to get a grip on climate change.”
Record levels of deforestation in Peruvian Amazon as gold mines spread
By Yvette Sierra Praeli, Mongabay, 6 March 2019
Illegal gold mining has led to historical rates of deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon, a recent analysis of satellite images shows.
In the past two years alone, more than 184 square kilometers (70 square miles) of forest have been destroyed in southern Peru, according to the analysis by the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP).
Britain’s Charity Regulator Will Grill The WWF Over “Appalling Atrocities”
By Tom Warren, Katie J.M. Baker, and Jane Bradley, BuzzFeed, 6 March 2019
The UK Charity Commission said it would be asking “serious questions” of the World Wide Fund for Nature after BuzzFeed News revealed the organization has funded anti-poaching guards who have tortured and killed people in wildlife parks across Asia and Africa.
The regulator confirmed that the WWF had submitted a “serious incident report” in the wake of the revelations and said it would respond “as a matter of urgency”.
“The appalling atrocities and human rights abuses that have been alleged here are at odds with everything we associate with charity,” a spokesperson for the commission said in a statement.
7 March 2019
Has WWF’s mission to combat nature’s enemy gone too far?
By Deborah Doane, The Guardian, 7 March 2019
World Wide Fund for Nature, put down your weapons. You are not a mercenary. You are not a government. You are not a terrorist. Your mission: to save the planet. Saving the planet does not happen by shooting people, or even by threatening them.
One might be forgiven for thinking that headlines this week revealing allegations that WWF was in bed with paramilitaries in different parts of the world must have been referring to the erstwhile World Wrestling Federation, not the fluffy panda charity that saves tigers. How could this possibly be?
Carbon Sinks are Our Best Climate Hedge. So Where’s the Money?
By Michael Jenkins, Rupert Edwards, and Genevieve Bennett, Forest Trends, 7 March 2019
Land-based carbon sinks – the forests, wetlands, and other ecosystems that pull carbon emissions from the atmosphere – are getting a lot of attention recently.
That’s because scientists have shown we now need “negative emissions” to meet the Paris target of keeping global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius – a key tipping point for climate change.
Together, we need to restore our carbon sinks at a historic scale, by switching to sustainable forestry and agriculture, planting trees, restoring ecosystems that have been damaged, and protecting the wild places that are still intact. Initiatives like Nature4Climate and Project Drawdown have done excellent work showing what a portfolio of land use solutions for climate could look like.
How to Rebuild Global Carbon Sinks
By Michael Jenkins, Rupert Edwards, and Genevieve Bennett, Forest Trends, 7 March 2019
Land-based carbon sinks – the forests, wetlands, and other ecosystems that pull carbon emissions from the atmosphere – are getting a lot of attention recently. That’s because scientists have shown we now need “negative emissions” to meet the Paris target of keeping global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius – a key tipping point for climate change.
Together, we need to restore our carbon sinks at a historic scale, by switching to sustainable forestry and agriculture, planting trees, restoring ecosystems that have been damaged, and protecting the wild places that are still intact.
But public and private finance for rebuilding our planet’s carbon sinks is still too small, too uncoordinated, and arrives too late.
In this series, Forest Trends shows how we can move beyond piecemeal solutions and one-off projects, and create a complete financial architecture for natural climate solutions.
Cargill May Still Face Reputation, Business Risks Despite Updated Zero-Deforestation Policy for Soy
Chain Reaction Research, 7 March 2019
Major commodity trader Cargill, a privately held company based in the United States, recently updated its plans to eliminate deforestation in all of its agricultural supply chains by 2030. While the company’s aim to bolster its sustainability policies for soy is a positive development, it is unclear as to how the company will reach this goal, and at what pace. The company has given conflicting signals regarding its zero-deforestation policies, including a shifting timeline and levers for implementation. This ambiguity may heighten reputation and market access risks for the company. The company aims to publish its updated sustainable soy policy by June 15, 2019.
Colombia – Forest Fires
ReliefWeb, 7 March 2019
A wave of forest fires is severely affecting the Colombian region of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. More than 1 000 hectares have already burned.
As a consequence, over 4 000 indigenous people from the Anahuac, Kogi, Wiwa and Kankuamo ethnic groups have lost their livelihoods and communities’ traditional sacred locations.
A red alert has been issued, since it is very likely that the forest fires get reactivated in the next few days due to strong winds.
[UK] Cars are killing us. Within 10 years, we must phase them out
By George Monbiot, The Guardian, 7 March 2019
It’s the last straw. Parked outside the hospital doors is a minibus with its engine running. The driver is playing on his mobile phone. The fumes are blowing into the atrium. I step up to his window and ask him to turn the engine off. He does so, grumpily. Then I notice he’s wearing a health service uniform. I walk through the atrium, down a corridor and into the cancer department (not for cancer this time, but to talk about reconstructive surgery). I look around the huge waiting room and wonder how many of the people sitting here might be ill as a result of air pollution. I think of people in other departments: children with asthma attacks, patients being treated for road injuries, or suffering from a lifetime of inactivity, as wheels replaced their feet. And I’m struck by the amazing variety of ways in which cars have ruined our lives.
8 March 2019
Breaking the Silence: Violence against women in and around industrial oil palm and rubber plantations
World Rainforest Movement, 8 March 2019
Life around industrial oil palm and rubber plantations is marked by violence. This reality is no different across West and Central Africa, where governments have handed out concessions to foreign plantation companies covering four million hectares of land for expansion of industrial oil palm plantations in recent years.
When these industrial plantations encroach onto community land, sexual violence, rape and abuse against women and girls increase dramatically. This happens wherever industrial plantations are established and irrespective of whether the plantation crop is palm oil or rubber.
UN Promises: No Double-Counting on Aviation Offsets, but No Transparency, Either
By Declan Foraise, Ecosystem Marketplace, 8 March 2019
The Paris Climate Agreement covered greenhouse gasses emitted by countries, but it left emissions from international flights and shipping in limbo – partly because their “international” nature made it hard to reach agreement on which countries to charge the emissions to.
That changed for one of those sectors in 2016, when the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which is the UN agency charged with coordinating aviation regulation, agreed to freeze net aviation emissions at 2020 levels beginning in 2021, and to force airlines to offset emissions above that threshold.
ETS trading volumes surge 50% in 2018 – German agency
By Nathan Witkop, Montel, 8 March 2019
The total trading volume of EU emission allowances jumped 50% last year to a record high, the German Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt) said late on Thursday.
The volume of EUAs traded in 2018 – the year the EU finalised a sweeping reform to tighten supply from 2019 – reached 10.8bn compared to 7.2bn in 2017.
The market value also reached a record EUR 160bn compared to just EUR 35bn the preceding year.
[Kenya] Earning from Conservation
By Christine Olubai, KBC, 8 March 2019
In Tsavo Kenya, there is a high level of rural poverty. This has seen the local population turn to unsustainable practices to gain income, having a large effect on tree populations and the biodiversity. Long dry spells mean that the local community lack water for agriculture and have to find alternative means of survival. There is a need for conservation.
Wildlife Works employs 350 community members in various areas, all as a part of environmental conservation “We started out at wildlife works with half a dozen rangers and now we have nearly 100. Their job is to stop human-wildlife conflict.” – Rob Dodson, VP of African Field Operations, Wildlife Works. Wildlife works is working with the local community to provide an alternative using the international carbon market through carbon offsetting. “Carbon credits isn’t a bubble that’s going to burst. It is a good viable way of protecting forests and empowering people in developing countries to look after their environment by rewarding them for their actions.” – Rob Dodson.
[Republic of Congo] Cover up: Buzzfeed reveals WWF KNEW locals opposed its flagship park – but hid this from funders.
Survival International, 8 March 2019
A new Buzzfeed investigation into WWF has shown that the charity knew local people opposed its flagship project to create a huge national park in the Congo – but hid this from the EU, who had given it €1million for the scheme.
A consultant who WWF commissioned to ask local people, including the Baka hunter-gatherers, their opinion of the proposed Messok Dja National Park found that many opposed it, and “associate this initiative with the rise in repression from eco-guards.”
The consultant’s report, obtained by Buzzfeed, went on to say: “They systematically associate it with the idea that they cannot access the forest anymore.” Locals blamed WWF for the actions of eco-guards and were therefore “very hesitant” to speak to the consultant “out of mistrust.”