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.
World Rainforest Movement recently published a statement, signed by 26 Brazilian organisations, opposing REDD. Specifically, the statement is in opposition to the German-funded REDD Early Movers programme in the state of Mato Grosso. So far, REM has operated in the state of Acre. The NGO statement describes REM as an example of how “Foreign capital is now valuing the functions of nature, which have been transformed into ‘environmental services’.”
In 2009, Nophea Sasaki and Francis Putz wrote a paper titled, “Critical need for new definitions of ‘forest’ and ‘forest degradation’ in global climate change agreements”. Their concern was that, under current definitions of forests, “great quantities of carbon and other environmental values will be lost when natural forests are severely degraded or replaced by plantations but technically remain ‘forests.’”
In the run-up to the UNFCCC climate negotiations in Paris, World Rainforest Movement put out a statement. “Instead of spending time on real solutions like leaving fossil fuels underground, the climate talks have deliberately come up with mechanisms that enable corporations to continue doing business as usual,” WRM argues.
“REDD+ is not just a false solution to the urgent and critical problem of climate change. It reinforces the corporate food and farming system that is largely responsible for climate change and undermines the food and agricultural systems of peasants and indigenous peoples that can cool the planet.”
Yesterday was the tenth International Day of Struggle against Tree Monocultures. The Day aims to focus attention on the impacts of industrial tree plantations on communities. This year the focus is on the impacts of oil palm plantations.
At the end of last week, just before the start of this year’s United Nations climate negotiations (COP20) in Lima, Peru, World Rainforest Movement and other signatories put out a call to action “to reject REDD+ and extractive industries to confront capitalism and defend life and territories”.
The Monte Pascoal-Pau Brasil forest offset project in the south of Bahia, Brazil aims to finance the restoration of degraded forest through the sale of carbon credits. Communities living in the project area were promised social benefits from the project. Few of these benefits were realised and fewer lasted.
Earlier this month, two meetings took place, both focussing on oil palm plantations. The first was a meeting of communities and civil society and took place in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. The second was the 11th meeting of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia.
“We believe that the current situation demonstrates more than ever the need to pursue other paths beyond REDD+.” This is from this month’s issue of the World Rainforest Movement Bulletin, which focusses on REDD. The first article in the Bulletin asks “Can REDD+ be ‘fixed’?”, the answer to which is somewhat given away by the next article: “The ‘sins’ of the REDD+ approach”.
Forests in exhaustion is one of the more absurd proposals to emerge from the UN negotiations on climate change. The proposal came from Brazil during 2008 and it was discussed during the Conference of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol held in Poznan in December 2008. It amounts to nothing more than a subsidy for industrial tree plantations.