In 2009, Norway launched Guyana’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation programme. Back then, it was an amibitious US$250 million scheme. Ten years later Guyana’s REDD has been almost completely abandoned.Continue reading
Launched five years ago, the New York Declaration on Forests included a commitment “to cut natural forest loss in half by 2020, and strive to end it by 2030”. But the pledges made by governments, multinational companies, NGOs, and indigenous peoples organisations have utterly failed to address deforestation.
Last week, the President of the Republic of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso, flew to Paris in a hired Boeing 787 Dreamliner, one of the most luxurious planes in the world. Le Figaro estimates that a one-way flight from Brazzaville to Paris would cost about US$500,000. Needless to say, Sassou Nguesso’s wife, Antoinette, travelled with him.
So far this year, more than 72,000 forest fires have started (or been set by cattle ranchers) in Brazil’s rain forest. That’s an 80% increase over the same period last year. But the amount of CO2 emitted from the fires is lower than in 2010 and significantly lower than in the early 2000s.
How do we know whether or not a REDD project is actually reducing deforestation and forest degradation? Satellite data is one increasingly popular answer. Computers can be trained to use the data to detect deforestation and changes in land use and plot the information on easy to read maps.
The Harapan Rainforest Project covers an area of 100,000 hectares of lowland forest in South Sumatra and Jambi provinces, Indonesia. That’s about one-fifth of the lowland rainforest remaining in Sumatra. The forest was a state-run logging concession and was logged intensively in the past, but since 2008 it has been managed by Resotrasi Ekosistem Indonesia (PT Reki), as an ecosystem restoration project.
Dahr Jamail is a journalist who, since 2003, has reported on the realities of war in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. For the past several years, he’s written about climate change. On Truthout, he writes the Climate Disruption Dispatches – a summary of the month’s science and reporting on climate change. The most recent is titled, “We Are Destroying Our Life Support System”.
From the beginning, REDD proponents described saving rainforests as the “low-hanging fruit”. When he launched Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) in December 2007, Norway’s then-prime minister Jens Stoltenberg told us that, “Through effective measures against deforestation we can achieve large cuts in greenhouse gas emissions – quickly and at low cost.”
Every year, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases. The CO2 concentration currently stands at 411.36 parts per million. In 2019, the UK Met Office predicts that the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere will be larger than in 2018. The increase in 2019 is likely to be one of the largest in 62 years of measurements.