Data released by the Brazilian government last week reveals that deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon has reached its highest rate since 2008. In the period August 2017 to July 2018, an area of 7,900 square kilometres of forest was cleared. That’s an increase of 13.7% compared to the previous 12 months.
On 5 September 2018, the California Air Resources Board released a draft California Tropical Forest Standard. A 191-page Draft Environmental Analysis was released on 14 September 2018. A public meeting will take place on 15 November 2018, and the California Air Resources Board is inviting comments on the Environmental Analysis before 5 pm on 29 October 2018.
In the last few weeks, California’s governor Jerry Brown has received two letters about climate change. One recommends that he should take meaningful action on climate change. The other recommends that he should provide a loophole to allow the oil industry to continue polluting.
The rate of deforestation in the Amazon increased by 22% between August 2017 and May 2018 compared to the same period the previous year, according to figures published by IMAZON, a non-profit research institute. Forest degradation is up by 218%. In June 2018, deforestation reached an area of 1,168 square kilometres – the highest monthly area since Imazon started monthly deforestation reports in April 2007.
When a company buys REDD carbon credits to offset its continued pollution, it relies on certification organisations such as Verra (previously called Verified Carbon Standard) and the Forest Stewardship Council to prove that the project is genuine, well managed, and really does result in reduced emissions. World Rainforest Movement recently visited the state of Mato Gross, Brazil to investigate the Florestal Santa Maria REDD project. WRM’s report reveals the problems with REDD, the problems with relying on this sort of certification, and the false solution of offsetting emissions from flying.
On 28 February 2018, Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court upheld the 2012 Forest Code as constitutional, including the Forest Code’s amnesty for landowners that illegally cleared forest before 22 July 2008.
Two weeks ago, REDD-Monitor posted a letter from indigenous peoples in Acre, Brazil announcing their support for the work of the Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI) in Acre. The letter was part of an on-going discussion in Brazil about REDD in Brazil and its impacts on indigenous peoples.
Tropical forests release more carbon each year than all the traffic in the United States. That’s the alarming finding of a recent study published in Science. The report demonstrates the urgent need to protect tropical forests. It also demonstrates the complete insanity of trading the carbon stored against continued emissions from fossil fuels.
REDD is at the centre of a tense discussion in Brazil’s indigenous community. Some indigenous people support REDD, others oppose it. Ecosystem Marketplace has jumped into fray, accusing the Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI) in the state of Acre of “intentionally sabotaging a program that has enabled [indigenous peoples] to save their forests”.
The Suruí Forest Carbon Project was the first REDD project to be developed and run by indigenous people. The Suruí’s Seventh of September territory covers an area of 248,000 hectares on the border of the states of Rondônia and Mato Grosso. The chief of the Suruí, Almir Suruí, has been lauded internationally for his role in promoting the project. He’s been called the Gandhi of the Amazon. In 2013, he won a UN Forest Hero Award.
World Rainforest Movement recently published a statement, signed by 26 Brazilian organisations, opposing REDD. Specifically, the statement is in opposition to the German-funded REDD Early Movers programme in the state of Mato Grosso. So far, REM has operated in the state of Acre. The NGO statement describes REM as an example of how “Foreign capital is now valuing the functions of nature, which have been transformed into ‘environmental services’.”
“Norway remains a proud partner to Brazil on reducing deforestation, and considers this partnership a great success.”
“Around half of Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions are caused by changes in land use and deforestation. In order to reduce global emissions, the UN climate finance model REDD+ was developed. The Brazilian Amazon Fund is considered a successful example of how this model can be implemented.”
Earlier today, during a visit to Oslo, Brazil’s president, Michel Temer, met Norway’s prime minister, Erna Solberg. After the meeting, Solberg said, “If preliminary figures about deforestation in 2016 are confirmed, it will lead to a reduced payout in 2017.” She added that Norway’s rainforest payments to Brazil are “based on results”.
From 26 to 28 May 2017, a meeting took place in Xapuri, in the state of Acre, Brazil. The meeting brought together Apurinã, Huni Kui, Jaminawa, Manchineri and Shawadawa indigenous peoples, representatives of traditional communities, rubber tappers, academics and supporting organisations. The meeting’s theme was, “The effects of environmental / climatic policies on traditional populations”.