The Phnom Penh Post has published another article in its investigation into corruption and illegal logging on a Conservation International project: “Rangers paid by an internationally funded conservation organisation have been directly profiting for years from the very trade they are supposed to be preventing in southwest Cambodia.”
Last month, the Phnom Penh Post published a shocking article about the illegal logging of rosewood in the Central Cardamom Protected Forest in Cambodia. According to the article, the illegal logging is abetted by military personnel, while Conservation International, which is working with the Cambodian government to manage the protected area, denies that the trade is taking place.
“We believe that the current situation demonstrates more than ever the need to pursue other paths beyond REDD+.” This is from this month’s issue of the World Rainforest Movement Bulletin, which focusses on REDD. The first article in the Bulletin asks “Can REDD+ be ‘fixed’?”, the answer to which is somewhat given away by the next article: “The ‘sins’ of the REDD+ approach”.
In June 2011, FERN, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the Rainforest Foundation UK produced a report which counters some of the misconceptions about the suitability of carbon markets to finance forest protection.
Alcoa. ArcelorMittal. Barrick Gold. BG Group. BHP Billiton. BP Foundation. Bunge. Cargill. Chevron. Coca-Cola. De Beers Group. Giti Tire. Goldman Sachs. Kimberly-Clark. Kraft Foods. McDonald’s. Medco Group. Monsanto. MPX Colombia. Newmont Mining Corporation. Northrop Grumman Corporation. Rio Tinto. Shell. Toyota Motor Corporation. United Airlines. Walmart. Wilmar International.
“Forests under Threat,” was the title of a recent article in the Phnom Penh Post. It’s a good article, but the headline could have been this year’s entry for the Basil Fawlty Award for stating the bleeding obvious. Cambodia’s forests, what’s left of them after years of destructive logging (legal and illegal), industrial agrobusiness and mining concessions, are among the most threatened on the planet.
The forests in the Congo Basin, the second largest area of tropical forest in the world, are receiving increasing interest. Enormous amounts of carbon are stored in these forests, meaning that REDD proponents are increasingly looking at these forests to “offset” continued pollution in the rich countries.
“Many scholars conducting research in Madagascar have demonstrated that the livelihoods of Malagasy people have been negatively impacted by various natural resource conservation and extraction interventions which have burgeoned over the last two decades.” This comes from a report of a June 2010 conference that took place in the UK.
Two weeks ago, journalist Johann Hari wrote a searing article in The Nation, raising important questions about conservation NGOs that accept funding from polluting corporations. Hari argues that the funding appears to have influenced the actions the NGOs take to address climate change.
“Why did America’s leading environmental groups jet to Copenhagen and lobby for policies that will lead to the faster death of the rainforests – and runaway global warming?” Good question. It comes from a new article by journalist Johann Hari in The Nation. In the article, “The Wrong Kind of Green”, Hari slams the corruption of US NGOs that receive corporate funding.
Thomas Friedman’s most recent column for the New York Times comes from Tapajós National Forest, Brazil. His trip was organised by Conservation International and the Brazilian government (Friedman doesn’t say who paid). Conservation International could not have chosen a better journalist to back up their pro-carbon market ideology.
Last week, an organisation called Avoided Deforestation Partners launched what they blandly describe as “an agreement on policies aimed at protecting the world’s tropical forests”. Under this agreement, “companies would be eligible to receive credit for reducing climate pollution by financing conservation of tropical forests”. It is a loophole allowing industry to write a cheque and continue to pollute.
President Bharrat Jagdeo’s visit to Europe last week was reported enthusiastically in Guyana’s newspapers. Headlines like “The Norway climate deal a significant step forward” and comments such as “Guyana is getting significant backing, including financial support, from Norway, for its model to push saving rainforests as a central platform in the global plan to avert climate change disaster,” both from the Guyana Chronicle, are typical.