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.
On 21 February 2018, the Philippines State Prosecutor of the Department of Justice filed a petition in a Manila court to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army as terrorist organisations. The petition includes the names of more than 600 people, who the government claims are communist guerrillas.
Last week, José Ilanga the Director General in charge of forests at the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development in the Democratic Republic of Congo, announced that plans were underway to lift the country’s 16-year-old moratorium on new logging concessions. Today, more than 50 environmental and human rights organisations have written to key donor governments and agencies, including Norway, UK, France, USA, and the World Bank, calling on them to suspend funding immediately to the DRC government for forestry and forest conservation.
On 28 February 2018, Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court upheld the 2012 Forest Code as constitutional, including the Forest Code’s amnesty for landowners that illegally cleared forest before 22 July 2008.
On 1 February 2018, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s forests were dealt a double blow. First, DRC’s Minister of Environment, Amy Ambatobe, reinstated three illegal logging concessions covering an area of 6,500 square kilometres. Second, DRC’s president, Joseph Kabila, signed off on three oil exploration concessions covering a huge area of Mai Ndombe province, including part of the Salonga National Park.
David Takacs is an Associate Professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law. In December 2012, he carried out a pro bono legal consulting trip to Vietnam and Cambodia for “an international NGO that was planning REDD+ projects in Southeast Asia.” One of the REDD projects that Takacs looked at was the Oddar Meanchey REDD project in Cambodia.
The Sengwer indigenous people who live in the Embobut forest in the western highlands of Kenya continue to face threats of violence and evictions. The latest round of violent evictions started at the end of December 2017. The evictions, carried out by the Kenya Forest Service, are supposedly in the name of “conservation”.
Dr Tim Frewer carried out part of the research for his PhD thesis in Cambodia, looking at the Oddar Meanchey REDD project. Following the responses from Terra Global Capital and VCS to Fern’s recent critical report that featured a case study of the Oddar Meanchey project, Frewer sent the following Guest Post to REDD-Monitor.