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Sign on to the Durban statement: “No REDD! No REDD Plus!”

Sign on to the Durban statement on REDDAffiliates from the Durban Group for Climate Justice are requesting signatures on a new statement rejecting REDD schemes, ahead of the World Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Bolivia, 19-22 April 2010. The statement, “No REDD! No REDD Plus!” is below in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

The Durban Group for Climate Justice is an international network of independent organisations, individuals and people’s movements who reject the approach to climate change promoted by polluting corporations, financiers, northern governments and economists. Please visit the Durban Group’s website to sign on to the statement.

Click here to sign the statement!
 

No REDD! No REDD Plus!
Global Sign-On Campaign against Schemes for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation

 
As part of a mounting global civil society criticism of the ineffective and unjust solutions to climate change – including carbon trading and geoengineering – representatives of peoples’ movements and independent organizations oppose the schemes for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) currently being formulated under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – and already piloted in schemes such as the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and the United Nations REDD Programme.
 
The proposed UN climate negotiator’s ‘forest deal’ jeopardizes the human future by serving to further entrench fossil fuel use – the major cause of the climate crisis – while at the same time failing to safeguard the future of forests and the rights of Indigenous Peoples and forest-dependent communities over their territories and knowledge. Further, there is a clear disregard from Northern countries to address the high levels of consumption in those countries as a driver of deforestation.
 
The projected growth of carbon markets in the US, Australia and elsewhere is set to trigger a huge new demand for imported pollution rights to allow industrialized countries and industries to continue business as usual and avoid emissions cuts at home. Norway has already calculated, for example, that Amazon forest conservation could “offset” or compensate for ten times its yearly emissions. However, a drought in 2005 turned the Amazon forest into a carbon source, not a carbon sink, and such events could occur in the future.
 
The REDD or “REDD-readiness” programmes in Southern countries that currently receive public funding do not constitute evidence that REDD will be pursued independently of carbon markets. On the contrary, such programmes are taxpayer-funded means for setting up the technical, legal and political infrastructure for the expanded market in forest carbon that will ultimately be demanded by big polluters in the US and elsewhere.
 
The new pollution licenses to be generated by REDD are designed in a way that obstructs the only workable solution to climate change: keeping oil, coal and gas in the ground. Like the carbon credits produced under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), they are not intended to result in any net climate gain, but merely to “compensate” for excessive fossil fuel use elsewhere. In reality, they fail to achieve even this null result. Like CDM credits, they exacerbate climate change by giving industrialized countries and companies incentives to delay undertaking the sweeping structural change away from fossil fuel-dependent systems of production, consumption, and transportation that the climate problem demands. They waste years of time that the world doesn’t have to solve this problem.
 
Worse, biotic carbon – the carbon stored in forests – can never be climatically equivalent to fossilized carbon kept underground. This is because carbon dioxide emitted from the burning of fossil fuels adds to the overall burden of carbon perpetually circulating between the atmosphere, vegetation, soils and oceans. However, carbon dioxide stored in forests is not a permanent sink for carbon in the same way as fossilized carbon. This inequivalence, among many other complexities, makes REDD carbon accounting impossible, allowing carbon traders to inflate the value of REDD carbon credits with impunity and further justify the increased use of fossil fuels. In 2009, even Interpol has warned against the vulnerability of REDD to international fraud and corruption.
 
REDD’s focus on the mass production of pollution licenses for industries in rich countries would inevitably neglect the needs and violate the rights of ordinary people throughout the world. In the South, REDD would transform the carbon in living trees into private property so that it can be awarded or transferred to private corporations in the North. Despite efforts to create safeguards to prevent the violation of the human rights of Indigenous Peoples and forest-dwelling communities, there is no guarantee to their effectiveness. In the worst case, REDD could inaugurate a massive land grab that would leave Indigenous Peoples and forest-dependent communities with nothing. In the North, meanwhile, REDD credits would enable fossil fuel-related corporations to maintain business as usual, to the detriment of communities affected by fossil fuel extraction and pollution.
 
In this context, the idea that REDD could help secure the territories or consolidate the rights and livelihoods of forest-dependent peoples is ludicrous. In the voluntary carbon markets, carbon forestry and REDD-type projects have already resulted in land seizures, violent evictions, forced displacement, violations of Indigenous Peoples’ rights, militarization, loss of access to land and livelihood, loss of biological diversity, fraud, coercion and the corruption of the sacred. Inclusion of forests and tree plantations in the giant compliance carbon market could only multiply such abuses.
 
In addition, climate policy negotiations at the international and national levels are considering the inclusion of soils and agricultural practices into REDD and other carbon marketing schemes. Just as Indigenous Peoples and forest dependent communities are threatened by forest-based REDD, agriculturalists, pastoralists and peoples’ food sovereignty will be seriously threatened should this come to pass. In effect, this will extend the commodification of lands as offsets for wealthy polluters over much of the earth’s surface. As well, we reject any incentive to use the oceans for REDD projects as well.
 
Further, because every REDD project would affect not only forest communities, but also people suffering from the operations of companies buying REDD offset credits and indeed those impacted by the climatic damage incurred by the project, the consent of vast numbers of people would need to be obtained for each project – something REDD practitioners have no intention of attempting.
 
REDD would also endanger forest conservation itself, by giving short shrift to many of the characteristics of forests essential to survival – the complex and diverse ways in which Indigenous Peoples and forest-dependent communities constitute homes, livelihood sources, storehouses of biodiversity and medicines, regulators of watersheds, and centres of culture and spirituality – while failing to address the underlying causes of deforestation. REDD initiatives are set to include industrial plantations and even the planting of genetically modified trees. REDD could indeed become, in the words of The New York Times, a “cash cow for forest destroyers.”
 
Forests have been and can only be protected through locally-led forestry governance, strong rights and institutions for forest-dependent people, especially Indigenous Peoples, locally-initiated investments, strictly enforced bans on trade in timber products, addressing excessive consumption in the North and so forth. Fixing a climate crisis caused in the main by the large historical fossil fuel users in the North must not be a burden borne by disenfranchised Indigenous and forest-dependent peoples in the South. There is indeed a climate debt the North owes the South and to imagine that it could be paid off by investments in REDD projects that generate carbon credits for industrialized countries would be the height of irony.
 
Durban Group for Climate Justice Signatories:
 
Acción Ecológica, Ecuador
Carbon Trade Watch, International
Centre for Civil Society Environmental Justice Project, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, SA
The Corner House, UK
FASE – ES, Brasil
FERN, UK
Global Justice Ecology Project, USA
Indigenous Environment Network, International
Moving Mountains, China
National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers, India
Timberwatch, South Africa
World Rainforest Movement, Uruguay

 

Click here to sign the statement!
 

No REDD! No REDD Plus!
Campaña Global de firmantes en rechazo a los esquemas de Reducción de las Emisiones de la Deforestación y Degradación

 
Como parte de la constante crítica de la sociedad civil global hacia las soluciones inefectivas e injustas al cambio climático –incluyendo el comercio de carbono y la geoingienería- representantes de movimientos populares y organizaciones independientes se oponen a los esquemas para la Reducción de las Emisiones de la Deforestación y Degradación (REDD), los que están actualmente siendo formulados bajo la Convención Marco de las Naciones Unidas sobre el Cambio Climático –y que ya están siendo probados en esquemas tales como el fondo del Banco Mundial para reducir las emisiones de carbono mediante la protección de los bosques, denominado Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF, por sus siglas en inglés) y el Programa REDD de las Naciones Unidas.
 
El ‘tratado forestal’ propuesto en las negociaciones climáticas de la ONU pone en peligro el futuro de los seres humanos al buscar aún más consolidar el uso de combustibles fósiles –la mayor causa de la crisis climática- mientras que al mismo tiempo fracasa en proteger el futuro de los bosques así como los derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas y pueblos dependientes de los bosques sobre sus territorios y conocimientos. Además, hay una clara indiferencia por parte de los países del Norte en lidiar con sus altos niveles de consumo como una causa de la deforestación.
 
La proyección de crecimiento de los mercados de carbono en los EEUU, Australia y otros lugares, está establecida para avivar una gran nueva demanda para importar permisos para contaminar y así permitirle a los países industrializados y las industrias continuar con los negocios como siempre y evitar hacer reducciones domésticas de emisiones. Noruega ya ha calculado, por ejemplo, que la conservación de los bosques de la Amazonía podría ‘compensar’ diez veces sus emisiones por año. Sin embargo, una sequía en el 2005 convirtió los bosques de la Amazonía en una fuente de carbono, no un sumidero de carbono, y tales eventos podrían ocurrir también en el futuro.
 
Los programas REDD o “REDD-readiness” (preparación para REDD) en los países del Sur que actualmente reciben fondos públicos no constituyen evidencia de que REDD será ejercido independientemente de los mercados de carbono. Por el contrario, tales programas son financiados a través del pago de impuestos para así instaurar la infraestructura técnica, legal y política para la expansión del mercado al carbono de los bosques, el cual será a la larga demandado por los grandes contaminantes de los EEUU y otros lugares.
 
Las nuevas licencias para contaminar que serán generadas a través de REDD están diseñadas de manera que obstruyen la única solución factible al cambio climático: dejar el petróleo, carbón y gas bajo tierra. Así como los créditos de carbono producidos bajo el Mecanismo de Desarrollo Limpio (MDL) del Protocolo de Kyoto, los nuevos créditos no tienen previsto resultar en ninguna ganancia neta para el clima, pero meramente en ‘compensar’ el excesivo uso de combustibles fósiles en otros lugares. En la realidad, éstos inclusive fracasan en alcanzar este resultado nulo. Como los créditos de los MDL, éstos también exacerban el cambio climático al entregar incentivos a los países industrializados y corporaciones para atrasar el necesario cambio estructural fuera de la dependencia de combustibles fósiles de los sistemas de producción, consumo y transporte que el problema del clima demanda. Han desperdiciado años del tiempo que el mundo ya no tiene para solucionar este problema.
 
Peor aún, el carbono biótico –carbono almacenado en los bosques- nunca podrá ser climáticamente equivalente a dejar el carbono fosilizado bajo tierra. Esto es porque el dióxido de carbono emitido de la quema de combustibles fósiles añade a la carga general de carbono que circula perpetuamente en la atmósfera, vegetación, suelos y océanos. Sin embargo, el dióxido de carbono almacenado en los bosques no es un sumidero permanente para el carbono como lo es el carbono fosilizado. Esta inequivalencia, entre muchas otras complejidades, hace que la contabilidad del carbono en REDD sea imposible, permitiendo que los comerciantes de carbono inflen el valor de los créditos de carbono de REDD con impunidad e incrementen aún más el uso de combustibles fósiles. En el 2009, inclusive la Interpol advirtió sobre la vulnerabilidad de REDD hacia fraudes internacionales y corrupción.
 
El enfoque de REDD en la producción masiva de licencias para contaminar para las industrias en los países ricos, inevitablemente supondría el rechazo de las necesidades y derechos de gente ordinaria a través del mundo. En el Sur, REDD transformaría el carbono de los árboles vivos en propiedad privada para así poder ser concedidos o transferidos a las corporaciones privadas del Norte. A pesar de los esfuerzos por crear resguardos para prevenir la violación de los derechos humanos de Pueblos Indígenas y comunidades dependientes de los bosques, no hay ninguna garantía de su efectividad. En el peor de los casos, REDD podría promover una gran apropiación de tierras que dejaría a los Pueblos Indígenas y comunidades dependientes de los bosques sin nada. En el Norte mientras tanto, los créditos de REDD permitirían a las corporaciones relacionadas a los combustibles fósiles a mantener sus negocios como siempre, dañando a las comunidades afectadas por la extracción y contaminación de los combustibles fósiles.
 
En este contexto, la idea de que REDD podría ayudar a asegurar los territorios o consolidar los derechos del sustento de las personas dependientes de los bosques es absurda. En los mercados voluntarios de carbono, los proyectos de carbono forestal y de tipo REDD ya han resultado en la confiscación de tierras, evicciones violentas, desplazamientos forzados, violaciones a los derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas, militarización, pérdida del acceso a tierras y sustento, pérdida de la diversidad biológica, fraude, coerción y la corrupción de lo sagrado. La inclusión de los bosques y plantaciones de árboles al servicio del mercado de carbono sólo podría multiplicar estos abusos.
 
Además, las negociaciones de políticas climáticas a nivel internacional y nacional están considerando la inclusión de suelos y prácticas agrícolas en REDD y otros esquemas del mercado de carbono. Así como los Pueblos Indígenas y las comunidades dependientes de los bosques están amenazados por el REDD basado en bosques, los agricultores, los pastores y la soberanía alimentaria de los pueblos será seriamente amenazada si esto llegara a pasar. En efecto, esto extendería la mercantilización de las tierras como compensaciones para contaminantes enriquecidos sobre la mayoría de la superficie de la tierra.
 
Asimismo, debido a que cada proyecto REDD podría afectar no sólo a las comunidades forestales pero también a los pueblos que sufren con las operaciones de compañías comprando créditos de compensación de REDD y en efecto, a aquellos impactados por el daño climático incurrido con el mismo proyecto, el consenso de un vasto número de gente sería necesario de obtener para cada proyecto – algo que los practicionarios de REDD no tienen intención de intentar.
 
REDD también pondría en peligro la conservación misma de los bosques al darle poca importancia a muchas de las características de los bosques esenciales para su supervivencia –las complejas y diversas formas en las que los Pueblos Indígenas y comunidades dependientes de los bosques constituyen hogares, fuentes de sustento, reservas de biodiversidad y medicinas, regulación de cuencas, y centros de cultura y espiritualidad- mientras que fracasa en lidiar con las reales causas de la deforestación. Las iniciativas de REDD están fijadas para incluir plantaciones industriales e incuso la plantación de árboles genéticamente modificados. En efecto, REDD podría convertirse, acorde con las palabras del New York Times, en ‘una vaca lechera de dinero para los destructores de los bosques’
 
Los bosques han sido y sólo pueden ser protegidos a través de una gobernabilidad forestal local, derechos e instituciones fuertes para los pueblos dependientes de los bosques, especialmente los Pueblos Indígenas, inversiones iniciadas localmente, una reducción drástica en el comercio internacional de productos de madera, enfrentar el excesivo consumo en el Norte y así sucesivamente. Arreglar una crisis climática causada principalmente por el largo uso histórico de combustibles fósiles en el Norte no debe ser una carga para los irrepresentados Pueblos Indígenas y comunidades dependientes de bosques en el Sur. Existe en efecto una deuda climática que el Norte le debe al Sur e imaginar que ésta podría ser pagada con inversiones en proyectos REDD que generen créditos de carbono para los países industrializados sería la mayor de las ironías.
 
Firmantes del Grupo Durban por la Justicia Climática:
 
Acción Ecológica, Ecuador
Carbon Trade Watch, International
Centre for Civil Society Environmental Justice Project, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, SA
The Corner House, UK
FASE – ES, Brasil
FERN, UK
Global Justice Ecology Project, USA
Indigenous Environment Network, International
Moving Mountains, China
Movimiento Mundial por los Bosques, Uruguay
National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers, India
Timberwatch, South Africa

 

Click here to sign the statement!
 

Não ao REDD! Não ao REDD+!
Campanha Global de assinaturas contra os mecanismos para a Redução de Emissões do Desmatamento e Degradação Florestal

 
Como parte das crescentes críticas da sociedade civil global às soluções ineficazes e injustas para as alterações climáticas – incluindo o comércio de carbono e a geoengenharia – representantes de movimentos populares e organizações independentes se opõem aos mecanismos de Redução de Emissões por Desmatamento e Degradação Florestal (REDD), atualmente sendo formulados no âmbito da Convenção-Quadro das Nações Unidas sobre Alterações Climáticas (UNFCCC) – e já testado em programas como o Mecanismo de Parceria do Carbono Florestal (FCPF), do Banco Mundial, e o Programa REDD das Nações Unidas.
 
O ‘acordo florestal’ proposto pelos negociadores do clima das Nações Unidas, põe em risco o futuro da humanidade, servindo para consolidar ainda mais o uso de combustíveis fosseis – a principal causa da crise climática – e, ao mesmo tempo, falha em salvaguardar o futuro das florestas e os direitos dos Povos Indígenas e comunidades dependentes da floresta sobre os seus territórios e conhecimento tradicional. Além disso, existe uma clara negligência nos países do Norte quanto a enfrentar seus elevados níveis de consumo como um motor de desmatamento.
 
O crescimento previsto para os mercados de carbono nos E.U., Austrália e outros países, prepara uma enorme disputa por novas importações de direitos de poluição, permitindo que os países industrializados e suas indústrias continuem a fazer o ‘mesmo do mesmo’, sem mudar uma vírgula, evitando os cortes de emissões em sede-própria. A Noruega já calculou, por exemplo, que a conservação da Floresta Amazônica poderia compensar por 10 vezes as suas emissões anuais. Contudo, a seca em 2005 transformou a Amazônia numa fonte de carbono, e não em um sumidouro. Tais eventos podem também ocorrer no futuro.
 
Os REDD, ou programas de “aptidão ao REDD” em países do Sul, que atualmente recebem financiamento público, não constituem prova de que o REDD será executado independente dos mercados de carbono. Pelo contrário, estes programas são um modo, financiado pelo contribuinte, de criar infra-estruturas técnicas, jurídicas e políticas para a expansão do mercado de carbono florestal, que acabará por ser exigido pelos grandes poluidores nos E.U. e outras partes.
 
As novas licenças para poluir que serão criadas pelo REDD estão concebidas de forma tal que obstruem a única solução viável contra a alteração climática: manutenção de petróleo, carvão e gás no subsolo.
 
Tal como os créditos de carbono produzidos sob o Mecanismo de Desenvolvimento Limpo (MDL) do Protocolo de Quioto, que não se destinam a resultar em qualquer ganho para o clima, mas meramente “compensar” o uso excessivo de combustíveis fósseis noutro lugar. Na realidade, eles fracassam mesmo em atingir este resultado nulo. Igualmente, os créditos REDD exacerbam as alterações climáticas, dando incentivos aos países industrializados e empresas para retardar o empreendimento de uma mudança estrutural extensa e alternativa aos sistemas de produção, consumo e transporte dependentes dos combustíveis fósseis, que a questão do clima exige. E desperdiçam anos de tempo que o mundo não tem para resolver este problema.
 
Pior ainda, o carbono biótico – o carbono armazenado nas florestas – nunca poderá ser climaticamente equivalente ao carbono fossilizado mantido no subsolo. Isto porque o dióxido de carbono emitido na combustão de combustíveis fósseis, se acrescenta à quantidade total de carbono que circula perpetuamente entre a atmosfera, vegetação, solo e oceanos. Contudo, o dióxido de carbono armazenado em florestas não é uma sedimentação e fixação permanente para o carbono, da mesma forma que para o carbono fóssil. Esta não-equivalência, entre muitas outras complexidades, torna impossível contabilizar o carbono dentro do REDD, permitindo aos comerciantes de carbono inflacionar o valor dos créditos de carbono REDD com impunidade; e além do mais, justifica o aumento do uso de combustíveis fósseis. Em 2009, mesmo a Interpol advertiu para a vulnerabilidade do REDD à fraude e corrupção internacionais.
 
O enfoque REDD sobre a produção em massa de licenças de poluição para as indústrias nos países ricos inevitavelmente violaria as necessidades e os direitos das pessoas comuns em todo o mundo. No Sul, REDD iria transformar o carbono das árvores vivas em propriedade privada, para que assim pudesse ser concedido ou transferido para empresas privadas no Norte. Apesar dos esforços para criar salvaguardas e impedir a violação dos direitos humanos dos Povos Indígenas e das comunidades residentes na floresta, não há nenhuma garantia de sua eficácia. Na pior das hipóteses, o REDD poderia inaugurar uma grande apropriação de terras, que deixaria Povos Indígenas e comunidades que dependem da floresta sem nada. No Norte, por sua vez, os créditos de REDD permitiriam às corporações dependentes dos combustíveis fósseis manterem seus negócios como sempre, atingindo as comunidades afetadas pela extração e contaminação de combustíveis fósseis.
 
Neste contexto, a idéia de que a REDD poderia ajudar a proteger os territórios e consolidar os direitos e meios de subsistência das populações dependentes das florestas é absurda. Nos mercados voluntários de carbono, os projetos de carbono florestal e de tipo REDD já resultaram em apreensões de terra, despejos violentos, deslocamento forçado, violações dos Direitos dos Povos Indígenas, em militarização, em perda do acesso à terra e meios de subsistência, perda da diversidade biológica, fraude, coerção e da corrupção do sagrado. A inclusão das florestas e plantações de árvores a serviço do mercado de carbono só poderiam multiplicar esses abusos.
 
Além disso, as negociações de políticas climáticas no nível nacional e internacional estão considerando a inclusão dos solos e práticas agrícolas em REDD e outros sistemas de comercialização de carbono. Assim como os povos indígenas e comunidades dependentes das florestas estão ameaçadas pela REDD florestais, os agricultores e campesinos e a soberania alimentar dos povos estará seriamente ameaçada, caso tal mercado venha a acontecer. Com efeito, este irá estender a mercantilização das terras, como compensação para os poluidores ricos, sobre a maioria da superfície da Terra.
 
Além disso, porque cada projeto REDD afetaria não apenas as comunidades florestais, mas também os povos que sofrem com as operações de companhias compradoras de créditos de compensação de REDD e por conseqüência, também aqueles grupos locais afetados pelos danos climáticos ocorridos pelo próprio projeto, seria necessário obter o consentimento de um grande número de pessoas, para cada projeto – algo para que os profissionais REDD não demonstram nenhuma intenção.
 
REDD também poria em perigo a conservação mesma das florestas, dando pouca importância a muitas das características das florestas, essenciais para sua sobrevivência – as formas complexas e diversificadas em que os povos indígenas e comunidades dependentes das florestas constituem casas, as fontes de subsistência, reservas de biodiversidade e medicamentos, os reguladores das bacias hidrográficas, e centros de cultura e espiritualidade – enquanto que fracassa em lidar com as reais causas do desmatamento. As iniciativas REDD estão definidas para incluir as plantações industriais e até mesmo o plantio de árvores geneticamente modificadas. REDD poderia mesmo tornar-se, nas palavras do The New York Times, uma “vaca leiteira de dinheiro para destruidores da floresta.”
 
As florestas têm sido e só podem ser protegidos através da governança florestal localmente conduzida, direitos e instituições fortes para os povos dependentes da floresta, especialmente os Povos Indígenas, investimentos localmente iniciados, uma redução drástica no comércio internacional de produtos de madeira, que enfrente o consumo excessivo do Norte e assim sucessivamente. Pagar por uma crise climática provocada principalmente pelo grande uso histórico de combustíveis fósseis no Norte não deve ser um encargo a mais suportado pelos indígenas marginalizados e populações dependentes das florestas no Sul. Há de fato uma dívida climática do Norte com o Sul, e imaginar que esta poderia ser paga através de investimentos em projetos de REDD, que geram créditos de carbono para os países industrializados, seria o cúmulo da ironia.
 
Signatários do Grupo de Durban pela Justiça Climática:
 
Acción Ecológica, Ecuador
Carbon Trade Watch, International
Centre for Civil Society Environmental Justice Project, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, SA
The Corner House, UK
FASE – ES, Brasil
FERN, UK
Global Justice Ecology Project, USA
Indigenous Environment Network, International
Moving Mountains, China
Movimiento Mundial por los Bosques, Uruguay
National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers, India
Timberwatch, South Africa

 

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  1. This statement throws the baby out with the bathwater. REDD+ is a very good initiative if it is funded by a Global Fund for Forests, as proposed by the Bolivian government, and not by the carbon market.
    Poor tropical countries need funds for conserving forests and national parks, otherwise deforestation is not going to be halted. Therefore in compensation for their contribution, as carbon sinks and reservoirs of biodiversity, rich countries shold give funds for protecting remaining natural forests, which is also necesary for the survival of hundreds of indigenous tribes. These funds should come from carbon taxes and not from carbon markets.
    While in some parts of the planet we should leave the oil underground, such as in rich in biodiversity areas. (For instance, in the Yasuni Park of Ecuador, or in the Madidi National Park of Bolvia, as proposed by the Bolivian Asociation for Defense of Nature). Leaving oil underground is not feasible at the global level because, among many other reasons, this would mean the collapse of food production systems that feed at least 5 billion people.
    Instead,we should advocate for carbon taxes, the abolition of fosil fuel subsidies, and the expansion of organic agriculture.
    REDD+ can be designed to support poor forest dwellers, and indigenous peoples.

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    Este posicionamiento desecha lo bueno junto con lo malo. REDD+ puede ser una gran ayuda para combatir la deforestación en los países tropicales. Esto no sólo es necesario para mitigar emisiones de CO2, sino sobre todo para conservar la biodiversidad. Además, REDD+ no necesariamente tiene que ser financiado por los mercados de carbono sino por un Fondo Global para Bosques proveniente de impuestos al carbon de los países altamente industrializados.
    Dejar de explotar el petróleo no es factible en el mundo actual, no solo porque la civilización contemporánea colapsaría, sino sobre todo porque los sistemas de producción de alimentos no podrían alimentar a gran parte de la población mundial, ya que la agricultura industrial es intensa en petróleo.
    Lo que se puede y debe hacerse es no explotar el petróleo en areas protegidas, como ha propuesto la Iniciativa Yasuní de Ecuador, o como propone PRODENA en el Parque Madidi de Bolivia.
    Los fondos para REDD+ deberían provenir de impuestos a los combustibles fósiles y los que se dan para subsidiar a estos combustibles en los países industrializados.
    Al mismo tiempo tenemos que expandir la agricultura orgánica.
    Todo depende cómo se diseñe REDD+, y debe hacerse para favorecer a los pueblos indígenas y otros que habitan en los bosques tropicales. Ya que la gente que tradicionalmente ha habitado los bosques es la más perjudicada con la deforestación.

  2. Sign on to “NO”! Is that the best we can do?

    I believe that many readers would be overjoyed if we could for once read a balanced, honest, and, above all, constructive contribution to the REDD debate on this website. Please, let us try to leave ideology aside, even if it makes for such easy and morally righteous debates. We really owe more to the world’s forests, people and climate.

    Consider the statement we are asked to sign on to: “Forests have been and can only be protected through … strictly enforced bans on trade in timber products…”. Further, the declaration warns that “REDD could become…a ‘cash cow for forest destroyers’.” and stokes the fear of forest plantations – clearly the satanic counterpart to thriving virgin forests. Why does everything have to be so black and white, and what is wrong about combining different elements of solutions we know can work without demonizing others?

    Rather than, for example, calling for a ban on all timber trading – why not consider a more constructive approach of promoting, or even requiring FSC certified timber trade? I am sure you will be quick to point out controversies about cases of forest certification. But anyone working in poor countries trying to protect forests knows that an economic value (not just for evil corporates but also local people and national governments) needs to be created to keep forests standing. And – if you deny this option – then the world’s thirst (not just in the North but just as much in developing countries) for agricultural products, timber, and pulp and paper will surely cause forest destruction with more harmful consequences to people and the planet than those you may conjure up for approaches such as forest certification and REDD+.

    On the other example, the much beloved devil of plantations, just how do you propose to stop deforestation (to benefit people depending on forests for their livelihoods) while providing fuelwood and charcoal (on which the vast majority of the world’s poorest people depend), timber, paper and other products without planting new forests? I am particularly curious given your opposition to sustainable forest management on a commercial scale (i.e. carefully managed logging) to provide the latter goods. Equating planted forests with forest destruction is really too simplistic and is a debate we should have overcome ever since safeguards such as the 1990 (CDM) and 10-year (VCS) rules were introduced (which ban carbon crediting for reforestation on recently deforested land).

    I and other readers are more than willing to engage in a constructive discussion about the risks of markets, how they can be addressed through better regulation, and what alternatives exist. I am certainly aware of other approaches proposed (carbon tax revenues, auction revenues etc.) and believe that a combination of elements of all of these is needed. A solution-oriented discussion (please!) should also include a frank analysis of the risks of corruption, intransparency, and marginalisation of people in government-to-government schemes and other approaches suggested (although there is a clear role for them as well). Even using revenues from auctioning of carbon credits or carbon taxes would face many of the potential problems seen by large-scale public and multilateral funding campaigns in developing countries.

    But all of this should be discussed constructively and non-ideologically (and I do mean it) in order to improve what was tried in the past.

  3. @Teresa Flores – Thanks for this. The reality is that the version of REDD currently being discussed at the UN-level is a carbon trading model. You might be right when you say that “REDD+ can be designed to support poor forest dwellers, and indigenous peoples.” However, the reality is that it is not being designed to support poor forest dwellers and indigenous peoples.

    @johannes ebeling – Why can you not see that one solution would be to abolish carbon trading? Let’s have a “solution-oriented” discussion about that (please). Mongabay (which is pretty much pro-REDD) recently listed some of the concerns about REDD that still remain:

    – financing to support the mechanism and provide sufficient economic incentives to stop deforestation;
    – criteria for establishing credible deforestation baselines;
    – technical aspects of monitoring and verifying change in forest cover;
    – concerns over poor governance and illegal logging;
    – international leakage, whereby forest conservation in one country drives deforestation in another;
    – scale of implementation, including the debate over “national” versus “sub-national” projects;
    – equity, including land tenure, ownership, and participation of forest-dependent communities;
    – questions on how to address drivers of deforestation including consumption in rich countries;
    – sustainable forest management (i.e. reduced impact logging) versus protection of primary forests as intact ecosystems;
    – protection of biodiversity and environmental services in non-carbon-rich ecosystems; and
    – controversies over carbon offsets and including forest carbon in market-based trading schemes.

    Why is it ideological to reject carbon trading but non-ideological to assume that carbon trading can be part of a solution to climate change (which is an impossible position to defend, given that carbon trading by definition does not reduce emissions).

  4. Chris,

    no one will deny that there are a number of concerns and challenges with REDD (both carbon-market and fund-based or other) that need to be resolved. The list is similarly long for many of the proposed approaches to addressing deforestation. Many of the outstanding questions you list apply to non-carbon market approaches as well, such as government-based or fund-based, and others, notably the transparency and corruption question may be even more prominent with the latter.

    You ask: “Why can you not see that one solution would be to abolish carbon trading?” So what is the solution you actually propose? Abolishing one mechanism that is not even established (with regards to REDD) does nothing but leave in place the status quo. Is that what you want? What do you propose constructively? We are really wasting our time with these discussions if REDD-monitor and others are not willing or able to bring forward constructive suggestions – remaining critical but also honest and not self-righeous.

    Sorry for the perhaps emotional response but while I certainly appreciate and support the role of campaigning organisations, we need more than NO-campaigns! And I am really frustrated with how much energy and resources are mobilised just to block things without working towards a solution for what is certainly not a sustainable nor desirable situation for forests, people and the climate today!