Tropical forests release more carbon each year than all the traffic in the United States. That’s the alarming finding of a recent study published in Science. The report demonstrates the urgent need to protect tropical forests. It also demonstrates the complete insanity of trading the carbon stored against continued emissions from fossil fuels.
REDD is at the centre of a tense discussion in Brazil’s indigenous community. Some indigenous people support REDD, others oppose it. Ecosystem Marketplace has jumped into fray, accusing the Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI) in the state of Acre of “intentionally sabotaging a program that has enabled [indigenous peoples] to save their forests”.
The Suruí Forest Carbon Project was the first REDD project to be developed and run by indigenous people. The Suruí’s Seventh of September territory covers an area of 248,000 hectares on the border of the states of Rondônia and Mato Grosso. The chief of the Suruí, Almir Suruí, has been lauded internationally for his role in promoting the project. He’s been called the Gandhi of the Amazon. In 2013, he won a UN Forest Hero Award.
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’.”
“Norway remains a proud partner to Brazil on reducing deforestation, and considers this partnership a great success.”
“Around half of Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions are caused by changes in land use and deforestation. In order to reduce global emissions, the UN climate finance model REDD+ was developed. The Brazilian Amazon Fund is considered a successful example of how this model can be implemented.”
Earlier today, during a visit to Oslo, Brazil’s president, Michel Temer, met Norway’s prime minister, Erna Solberg. After the meeting, Solberg said, “If preliminary figures about deforestation in 2016 are confirmed, it will lead to a reduced payout in 2017.” She added that Norway’s rainforest payments to Brazil are “based on results”.
From 26 to 28 May 2017, a meeting took place in Xapuri, in the state of Acre, Brazil. The meeting brought together Apurinã, Huni Kui, Jaminawa, Manchineri and Shawadawa indigenous peoples, representatives of traditional communities, rubber tappers, academics and supporting organisations. The meeting’s theme was, “The effects of environmental / climatic policies on traditional populations”.
In 2011, REDD-Monitor asked “Can REDD save the Amazon?”. Six years later, after Norway has poured more than US$1 billion into REDD in Brazil, it is clear that REDD is not a solution to Amazon deforestation. Deforestation fell from 2004 to 2012, but the reasons were nothing to do with REDD. Now deforestation is going back up.
The Juma Sustainable Development Reserve covers an area of 589,612 hectares in the municipality of Novo Aripuanã, in the state of Amazonas, Brazil. On its website, the project developer Fundação Amazonas Sustentável states that, “FAS is committed to protect forests and improving the life quality of people that live there”.
Yesterday, the World Bank’s private sector arm, the International Financial Corporation launched a US$152 million bond aimed at supporting REDD and carbon trading. The deal demonstrates just about everything that’s wrong with REDD.
“The aim of reducing the emissions from forest destruction and degradation caused by industrial agriculture, logging, mining for fossil resources, etc. is today decisive to the survival of humankind and our planet. However, when the tool to achieve this aim is the trading of emission credits (offsets), we arrive at the wrong solutions.”