Kevin Conrad is the Executive Director of the Coalition for Rainforest Nations. He’s currently in Bonn at COP23, the United Nations climate conference, as part of the delegation of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In May 2017, the Coalition for Rainforest Nations Secretariat put in an application to register “REDD+” as a trademark in the USA.
WWF’s largest REDD project in Africa is in Mai Ndombe province, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to WWF, the results so far are “very encouraging”. On its website, WWF states that, “The participatory approach through local development committees has proven to be a success with effective achievements.”
For a REDD project to generate carbon credits, the project developer has to write a story about what would have happened without the project. This story, or baseline scenario, is crucial to REDD. As long as the actual deforestation is less than the deforestation in the baseline scenario, the REDD project can generate carbon credits.
Last week, Rainforest Foundation UK and US wrote to staff at the World Bank, asking the World Bank not to approve the Mai Ndombe integrated REDD programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo, because of the risks involved for local communities. Yesterday Laurent Valiergue, Senior Forestry Sepcialist at the World Bank, replied. His response is available in full below.
Tomorrow (28 August 2017), a meeting is planned at the World Bank. On the agenda is whether to give internal approval for the Mai Ndombe integrated REDD programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ahead of the meeting, Rainforest Foundation UK and US have written to the Bank asking that the programme not be approved.
Rainforest Foundation UK has today written to Norway’s Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, asking her to prevent Norwegian funding for an industrial logging project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The proposed project would hand over 20 million hectares of forest to timber companies.
“For WWF, partnering with Indigenous Peoples is an essential part of our conservation work.” This sentence comes from WWF’s latest newsletter from its international forest and climate team. The article is written by Jolly Sassa Kiuka and Flory Botamba who work for WWF in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Norway’s plans to save the rainforests in the Congo are coming under scrutiny in the Norwegian media.
In September 2015, Norway and a handful of European countries launched the Central African Forest Initiative. CAFI is aimed at reducing emissions from deforestation in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Gabon, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, the Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo.
Last week saw the 14th meeting of the Carbon Fund, part of the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. At the meeting Costa Rica and the Democratic Republic of Congo presented their REDD programme plans. The Carbon Fund approved both country’s REDD plans (called Emissions Reduction Program Documents in the World Bank’s jargon).
In order for REDD projects to generate carbon credits, a “baseline scenario” has to be created. This is supposed to reflect what would have happened under business-as-usual, or what would have happened in the absence of the REDD project.
A new report by the Forest Peoples Programme finds that “Deforestation and forest degradation have increased in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) despite the government’s commitment to safeguard its forests”.
“Conservation efforts in the Congo Basin are mostly failing to protect forests and biodiversity, having serious negative impacts on local populations, and for these reasons are probably unsustainable.”