“Hongmu” is a style of intricately carved Chinese wooden furniture and artworks. It’s found on sale in glitzy shopping malls across mainland China. But behind the timber used to create this art form is a violent crime wave.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a proposed international trade agreement, involving 12 countries and covering a range of topics including intellectual property, the environment and workers’ rights. The TPP has been negotiated in secret for almost four years.
This week, Global Witness released a new report investigating a land grabbing crisis in Laos and Cambodia. The report looks at two Vietnamese “rubber baron” companies, Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) and the Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG). Global Witness found that these companies “have leased vast tracts of land for plantations in Laos and Cambodia, with disastrous consequences for local communities and the environment”.
Forest Peoples Programme’s April 2013 E-Newsletter focusses on safeguards. The E-Newsletter starts by looking at why safeguards matter. Other articles explain and comment on the World Bank’s safeguards review, forest policy and oil palm policy, the failure of safeguards in the Camisea gas project in Peru and examples from the Congo Basin and Cameroon.
A new report by the Environmental Investigation Agency confirms that logs from Laos continue to pour over the border into Vietnam feeding a booming furniture industry there, despite a ban on exports of unprocessed timber from Laos. This illegal trade has serious implications for REDD in both countries.
In March 2009, the UN-REDD Programme Policy Board approved US$4.4 million for Viet Nam’s National UN-REDD Programme. UN-REDD chose two districts in Lam Dong, – Di Linh and Lam Ha – to pilot REDD+ in Vietnam. From January to June 2010, the programme carried out a process of Free, Prior and Informed Consent in the two districts. There are at least two versions of what actually took place.
Last month I was invited to speak at a workshop titled, “Food, Livelihoods and Climate Change in the Mekong Region”. I was asked to give an introduction to REDD and an overview of some of the REDD projects and actors in the Mekong Region.
A recent study, “Forest transition in Vietnam and displacement of deforestation abroad,” found that while Vietnam’s area of forest is increasing, it is doing so at the expense of forests in other countries, including Laos, Cambodia and Indonesia.