At 5.45 pm on 22 December 1988, Chico Mendes, Brazilian rubber tapper and trade union leader was assassinated in the doorway of his home in Xapuri, Acre. Two meetings in Xapuri this month show that Mendes legacy is disputed.
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”.
“Early evidence from REDD+ projects suggests major challenges, including: ongoing weak enforcement of domestic laws on forests and land, leading to limited effectiveness; contestation or conflict over property rights and community benefits; as well as securitisation and violence, often perpetrated by government agencies.”
“A global crisis is unfolding. The rapid expansion of development projects on indigenous lands without their consent is driving a drastic increase in violence and legal harassment against Indigenous Peoples.”
A recent study looks at the costs to local communities of the Ankeniheny-Zahamena Corridor REDD project in eastern Madagascar. “Conservation restrictions result in very significant costs to forest communities,” the study concludes.
Hanne Svarstad and Tor A. Benjaminsen have been carrying out research into REDD in Tanzania for several years. Svarstad is a political ecologist, sociologist and professor in Development Studies at Oslo Metropolitan University. Benjaminsen is a human geographer and professor of Development Studies at the Department of International Environment and Development Studies (Noragric), Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
On 30 May 2018, REDD-Monitor wrote a post based on a paper in the current issue of the journal Conservation and Society. The paper is titled, “Slippery Violence in the REDD+ Forests of Central Kalimantan, Indonesia”, and is written by Peter Howson.
Since January 2014, Kenya Forest Service guards have carried out a series of violent evictions of the Sengwer indigenous people from their homes in Embobut forest. While the evictions took place the Kenya Forest Service was funded by international donors, including the World Bank, the European Union, and the Finnish government.
Indonesia contributes more greenhouse gases from forest destruction and degradation than any other country. The solution, trumpeted since 2007 at the UN climate meeting in Bali, is supposed to be REDD.
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.
Susan Chomba of the World Agroforestry Centre in Kenya was the lead author of a 2016 critique of the Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project. The authors found that the project increased inequity in the project area. In a response, Mwangi Githiru, an employee of Wildlife Works, the US company running the project, argued that the REDD project was actually “correcting inequity”.
In March 2009, Norway launched its REDD programme in Tanzania. This was a “nested approach”, that was to include developing a national REDD strategy, national forest monitoring, and local pilot projects. About one-third of Norway’s US$90 million went to eight NGOs. One of these NGOs was the Jane Goodall Institute.
The province of Mai Ndombe in the Democratic Republic of Congo has about 10 million hectares of forest. Of the population of 1.8 million living in Mai Ndombe, about 73,000 are indigenous people.