In 2007, sustainable forest management was written into the definition of REDD in the Bali Action Plan. Ten years later, the main funder of REDD, the Norwegian government, has commissioned a review of sustainable forest management.
Sustainable Forestry Management Ltd was the name of a company incorporated in the Bahamas in October 1999. The company set up forestry projects and traded carbon credits. Its directors included Eric Bettelheim (Executive Chairman and General Counsel), Alan Bernstein (Chief Executive Officer), and Hugh van Cutsem (Director).
Janette Bulkan recently wrote a series of six articles published in Guyana’s newspaper Stabroek News. The articles look in detail at the operations of an Indian coffee company with logging operations in Guyana.
In January 2011, Guyana’s then-Junior Minister of Forestry Robert Persaud announced that the forest sector in Guyana was 99% legal. A recent series of articles by Janette Bulkan questions the veracity of Persaud’s statement.
Global Witness recently produced a short film on industrial logging in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The film raises an interesting conundrum. “The World Bank and other international donor agencies claim to support the protection of forests and the people that live in them. Yet many donors continue to support industrial logging.”
A new report by the Environmental Investigation Agency confirms that logs from Laos continue to pour over the border into Vietnam feeding a booming furniture industry there, despite a ban on exports of unprocessed timber from Laos. This illegal trade has serious implications for REDD in both countries.
That’s what a group of scientists asked in an open letter earlier this week. Except that being scientists, they called it “An Open Letter about Scientific Credibility and the Conservation of Tropical Forests.”
On 23 August 2010, Norway’s Finance Ministry announced that the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) had blacklisted the Malaysian logging giant Samling from its portfolio. The decision was made after a review by the Norwegian Council of Ethics of Samling and two Israeli companies.
In April 2010, the UN Environment Programme named six people “Champions of the Earth” – the UN’s highest award for environmental leadership. Among those recognised this year was Guyana’s president, Bharrat Jagdeo, who won the award for “Biodiversity Conservation & Ecosystem Management”.
At the start of last week’s UN climate negotiations in Bonn, Yvo de Boer, the UNFCCC Executive Secretary, described the negotiating text as “200 pages of incomprehensible nonsense”. By the end of the week, de Boer wasn’t much more optimistic. “We seem to be afloat on a sea of brackets,” he was reported as saying in the New York Times.
“We practice Sustainable Forest Management,” states Malaysian logging company Rimbunan Hijau on its website. We know that Rimbunan Hijau’s claims to sustainability are nonsense, of course. As if to make the point, the company illustrates its claim with a photograph of a monoculture tree plantation (left).