I wrote this post in June 2018, for iz3w (Informationszentrum 3. welt), an organisation based in Freiburg, Germany. A German translation of an edited version is published in the May/June 2019 issue titled, “Klimawandel” (Climate change). The following is the unedited version.
“The REDD+ readiness phase leading up to implementation has been slow and has fallen short of expectations.”
“The technology is well known and has been available for thousands of years. Everybody knows how not to cut down a tree.” That spectacularly naive comment came from Norway’s then-prime minister Jens Stoltenberg in December 2007 at the launch of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI).
Last week saw a meeting in Weilburg, Germany to discuss “Social Inclusion in REDD+ Processes”. The meeting, organised by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation and the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, also discussed the “Status and Achievements of 10 years’ REDD+ Preparation and Implementation”.
The World Bank and the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo are coming to the end of negotiations about the country’s Emission Reductions Payment Agreement. While no official announcement has yet been made, REDD-Monitor understands that the Agreement was signed last week.
Back in May 2008, in an article titled, “What Would It Cost to Save Nature?”, German magazine Der Spiegel announced the dawning of “A new age of conservation”.
For the first time, a value is being assigned to forests, plants and coral reefs, a value that makes them worthy of protection. It is nothing short of a paradigm shift in the environmental movement.
In December 2007, Norway’s then-prime minister Jens Stoltenberg launched Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI). Stoltenberg announced that Norway would be handing out more than US$500 million a year “to prevent deforestation in developing countries”. Stoltenberg was convinced that stopping deforestation would be quick and cheap.
To mark the tenth anniversary of the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, more than a dozen NGOs signed a letter to the Bank calling for the suspension of the FCPF. “This approach to forest protection simply has not worked,” they wrote.
This week saw the tenth anniversary of the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. To mark the anniversary, more than a dozen NGOs wrote to the Bank calling for the suspension of the FCPF. After ten years and over US$1 billion committed, the NGOs write, “FCPF cannot point to a single gram of carbon that it has saved nor any emissions reductions payments that have yet been made”.
Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu is a big cheese at the UN climate meetings. He was the Democratic Republic of Congo’s lead negotiator at COP23 in Bonn. He is the chairman of the Coalition for Rainforest Nations. He is the ex-chair of the Africa Group at the climate negotiations, and last year he was the chair of the least developed countries. He is on the board of the Green Climate Fund.
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.
In August 2012, the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank published a review of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF). The review revealed some serious problems with the FCPF and the Independent Evaluation Group recommended that the World Bank should re-think its approach to REDD.
A recent paper published in Geoforum focusses on REDD, property rights and resource control. The paper, “A political ecology of REDD+: Property rights, militarised protectionism, and carbonised exclusion in Cross River”, is written by Adeniyi P. Asiyanbi of Kings College London and the School of Oriental and African Studies.
The World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility is supposed to help countries in the Global South reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. It was launched at COP 13 in Bali in 2007. The Fund capital stands at US$850 million, of which US$1.12 billion is for the Readiness Fund, and US$750 million is for the Carbon Fund. But after nine years, the FCPF cannot point to a single country in which it has actually reduced deforestation.