The rate of deforestation in the Amazon increased by 22% between August 2017 and May 2018 compared to the same period the previous year, according to figures published by IMAZON, a non-profit research institute. Forest degradation is up by 218%. In June 2018, deforestation reached an area of 1,168 square kilometres – the highest monthly area since Imazon started monthly deforestation reports in April 2007.
Last month saw the Oslo Tropical Forest Forum 2018, 10 years after REDD was included in the Bali Road Map, at the UN climate negotiations in December 2007. “The goal of the forum is to celebrate results and identify remaining challenges,” according to the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation’s website about the event.
When a company buys REDD carbon credits to offset its continued pollution, it relies on certification organisations such as Verra (previously called Verified Carbon Standard) and the Forest Stewardship Council to prove that the project is genuine, well managed, and really does result in reduced emissions. World Rainforest Movement recently visited the state of Mato Gross, Brazil to investigate the Florestal Santa Maria REDD project. WRM’s report reveals the problems with REDD, the problems with relying on this sort of certification, and the false solution of offsetting emissions from flying.
From 11 to 29 June 2018, the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is meeting in Montreal. Among the topics to be discussed are the rules for the aviation industry’s plans to carry on polluting while offsetting its emissions through its carbon trading scam, the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).
Norway has spent NOK 1 billion on saving the rainforest in the Democratic Republic of Congo. But deforestation in DRC is increasing rapidly. On 12 May 2018, Dagsrevyen, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation’s daily news programme reported on Norway’s failure to address deforestation in DRC.
Last week, José Ilanga the Director General in charge of forests at the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development in the Democratic Republic of Congo, announced that plans were underway to lift the country’s 16-year-old moratorium on new logging concessions. Today, more than 50 environmental and human rights organisations have written to key donor governments and agencies, including Norway, UK, France, USA, and the World Bank, calling on them to suspend funding immediately to the DRC government for forestry and forest conservation.
On 28 February 2018, Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court upheld the 2012 Forest Code as constitutional, including the Forest Code’s amnesty for landowners that illegally cleared forest before 22 July 2008.
In India, when an area of forest land is cleared, an equivalent area of land has to be afforested. Since 2006, the government has imposed a fee on companies that clear forests for mining, industry, or other projects. The money goes into the Compensatory Afforestation Fund. The Compensation Afforestation Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) is the organisation responsible for overseeing this afforestation. But the money collected was largely unused.
The Indonesian government talks a good talk on climate change, particularly relating to reducing deforestation. But does it walk the walk? Unfortunately, the reality falls far short of the rhetoric.
Tropical forests release more carbon each year than all the traffic in the United States. That’s the alarming finding of a recent study published in Science. The report demonstrates the urgent need to protect tropical forests. It also demonstrates the complete insanity of trading the carbon stored against continued emissions from fossil fuels.
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.
“Norway remains a proud partner to Brazil on reducing deforestation, and considers this partnership a great success.”
“Around half of Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions are caused by changes in land use and deforestation. In order to reduce global emissions, the UN climate finance model REDD+ was developed. The Brazilian Amazon Fund is considered a successful example of how this model can be implemented.”
In an open letter, scientists have warned about the impacts that logging the forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo would have on the planet’s climate. The scientists are concerned that a proposal to expand logging in DRC’s forests would damage the world’s largest tropical peatland – the Cuvette Centrale peatlands in the central Congo Basin.
Earlier today, during a visit to Oslo, Brazil’s president, Michel Temer, met Norway’s prime minister, Erna Solberg. After the meeting, Solberg said, “If preliminary figures about deforestation in 2016 are confirmed, it will lead to a reduced payout in 2017.” She added that Norway’s rainforest payments to Brazil are “based on results”.