Yesterday, the World Bank’s private sector arm, the International Financial Corporation launched a US$152 million bond aimed at supporting REDD and carbon trading. The deal demonstrates just about everything that’s wrong with REDD.
“The aim of reducing the emissions from forest destruction and degradation caused by industrial agriculture, logging, mining for fossil resources, etc. is today decisive to the survival of humankind and our planet. However, when the tool to achieve this aim is the trading of emission credits (offsets), we arrive at the wrong solutions.”
“What we need is a new model of development for countries with tropical forests,” says Maria Claudia García, National Director of Forestry, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services at the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development in Colombia. According to Garcia, REDD is a “new vision”.
The Misak are an indigenous people whose territory is in Cauca, high in the Andes mountains in Colombia. During Spanish colonial rule, they lost large parts of their territory, but in he 1980s they started a process of reclaiming their land. Eventually they gained formally recognised land rights.
On the first day of the UN climate negotiations in Paris, the governments of Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom pledged US$5 billion for REDD, between 2015 and 2020. The GNU countries say they “have signaled they will increasingly target results-based finance for countries who deliver verified REDD+ emission reductions”.
LifeMosaic has produced an excellent new series of 10 videos, sharing “stories of resistance, resilience and hope with communities on the frontline of the global rush for land”. The video series is titled, “Territories of Life: A video toolkit for indigenous peoples about land and rights”.
A paper published this week in Nature concludes that the Amazon is losing its capacity to absorb carbon. In the past decade, the carbon absorbed by the Amazon each year has decreased by about one-third.
“Checking deforestation requires respect for our basic rights, which are the rights of all peoples and all human beings. Deforestation is unleashed when our rights are not protected and our lands and forests are taken over by industrial interests without our consent.”
A couple of months ago, Kevin Conrad commented that “because Papua New Guinea was advocating a regime shift in forests, we had every carbon cowboy in the world descend upon Papua New Guinea.” Unfortunately, it seems that PNG is not the only country in the world that is facing an influx of “carbon cowboys”.