Since October 2008, Global Witness has been working on a project called “Making the Forest Sector Transparent”. The project has recently released its 2011 Annual Transparency Report, looking at the transparency record in seven countries: Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The claims made on behalf of burying charcoal, otherwise known as “biochar”, are extraordinary. According to the International Biochar Initiative, it will “fight global warming”, it will “boost food security”, and it will “discourage deforestation”. Meanwhile, it is “inexpensive, widely applicable, and quickly scalable”.
Two new reports look at REDD in Cameroon from slightly different perspectives. The first, by the Forest Peoples Programme, focuses on indigenous peoples’ rights in the REDD processes in the country. The second, by CIFOR, looks at context of REDD, including reference scenarios, mechanisms for funding, monitoring, reporting and verification and political reforms.
“Curbing deforestation is a highly cost-effective way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and has the potential to offer significant reductions fairly quickly.” With this statement from his 2006 report, “The Economics of Climate Change”, Nicholas Stern, Lord Stern of Brentford Kt, FBA, gave REDD a huge boost. But how much truth there is in this statement?
On 30 June 2010, a range of civil society organisations and indigenous peoples met in Yaounde to discuss a series of consultations on potential REDD projects that have been taking place in southern Cameroon. A press release from Forest Peoples Programme highlights the key concerns raised by the Baka, Bagyeli and Bakola forest communites. The press release is also available in French, below.