The Somicongo REDD+ concession in Mai Ndombe province, in the Democratic Republic of Congo was, until early 2018, a logging concession covering an area of almost 300,000 hectares. As Global Witness pointed out in a 2015 report about the logging industry in the DRC, the contract, management plan, and social agreement for the logging concession were unpublished or inaccessible – in breach of DRC’s legal framework.
“Good money after bad? Risks and opportunities for the Green Climate Fund in the Congo Basin Rainforests”, is the title of a new report by the Rainforest Foundation UK. The report focusses on the GCF and REDD, followed by a critical overview of the GCF’s planned projects in the forests of the Congo Basin.
In May 2019, the Congolese NGO Action pour la promotion et protection des peoples et espèces menacés (APEM) wrote to the coordinator of the World Bank’s Forest Investment Programme in the Democratic Republic. The letter followed a civil society monitoring mission of three REDD projects in Mai Ndombe province that was carried out in September and October 2018.
In September and October 2018, six local monitors trained by the Congolese NGO Action pour la promotion et protection des peoples et espèces menacés (APEM) took part in a civil society monitoring mission in Mai Ndombe province. The monitoring was carried out with technical and financial support from Rainforest Foundation UK.
In 2009, the Jane Goodall Institute received US$2.76 million from the Norwegian Embassy in Tanzania. The money was to run a REDD project in the Masito Ugalla Ecosystem. Under the REDD project, farmers were violently evicted. The farmers received no compensation, and have had no help since the evictions.
Last week, the Climate Change Round-Table in El Salvador, a group of civil society organisations, handed over an open letter to the country’s president-elect Nayib Bukele. The letter is critical of the environmental and climate policies of the previous government, which focussed heavily on REDD.
On 11 September 2018, shortly before the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, 17 foundations signed on to a “Joint Statement Supporting Forests, Rights, and Lands for Climate”.
On 13 February 2019, the Supreme Court of India ordered the forced eviction of millions of forest-dwelling people. The court’s decision is the result of a case filed in 2008 by wildlife conservation organisations: Wildlife First, Nature Conservation Society, and Tiger Research and Conservation Trust.
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.