“What we need is a new model of development for countries with tropical forests,” says Maria Claudia García, National Director of Forestry, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services at the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development in Colombia. According to Garcia, REDD is a “new vision”.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a proposed international trade agreement, involving 12 countries and covering a range of topics including intellectual property, the environment and workers’ rights. The TPP has been negotiated in secret for almost four years.
The province of Aceh in Sumatra is currently drawing up its spatial plan. In the current version, an area of 1.2 million hectares of forest would be converted to mining, logging and oil palm plantations. One of the driving forces behind this proposal appears to be a Canadian mining company, East Asia Minerals.
Little progress seems to have been made at the UN climate negotiations in Bonn over the past two weeks. Meanwhile, climate change is already having a serious impact on forests, through the increase in severity and frequency of droughts, fires and/or beetle attacks.
In a press release last month, Ecosystem Restoration Associates (ERA) announced that, “Through the development and monetization of high quality carbon offsets, the Mai Ndombe project will deliver ecosystem, social, economic, biodiversity and climatic benefits for communities within and beyond the project area.”
Earlier this month, Ecosystem Restoration Associates, a Canadian carbon trading company, announced a REDD-type project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The company described the project as, “the first Forest Conservation Concession Contract awarded by the government of the DRC.”
This week, a Canadian mining company called East Asia Minerals Corporation, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to buy 50% of Carbon Conservation Pty Ltd. East Asia Minerals’ aim is simple: “Through the acquisition of a 50% equity interest in CC, the Company will develop a ‘green’ mining project which will use carbon and biodiversity offsets and the latest in environmentally friendly mining practices.”
UPDATE – 17 August 2011: On 15 August 2011, Albert George of the Amazon Reforestation Project wrote to REDD-Monitor stating that “we have severed all ties with Shift2Neutral”.
In August 2010, the Rimba Raya conservation project in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia hit the headlines. “Indonesia project boosts global forest CO2 market,” Reuters reported. But there’s a catch. Two companies that are responsible for vast greenhouse gas emissions are involved in the project: Shell and Gazprom.
A Canadian company called ERA Carbon Offsets Ltd is looking to sell carbon offsets from REDD projects. The company already sells carbon offsets to Shell, which Shell uses to ensure that it can continue drilling for oil. According to the press release below, the president and CEO of the World Wildlife Fund, Carter Roberts supports this.