In January 2017, the Kelantan state government in Malaysia signed a REDD deal with a company called Climate Protectors. The REDD project covers an area of 396,000 hectares, one-quarter of the state’s land area. Under the deal, Climate Protectors would run the project for 30 years, and receive 45% of the money from the sale of carbon credits.
The Borneo Case is a new film that documents the destruction of more than 90% of Sarawak’s forests and investigates where the profits from the destruction went. As the Bruno Manser Fund notes, “Vast illicit assets have been acquired by the former Chief Minister and current Governor of Sarawak, Abdul Taib Mahmud, and his closest family members.”
On 31 December 2015, Accreditation Services International terminated SGS Malaysia’s accreditation with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. REDD-Monitor wrote about this in February 2016: “Transparency and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil: Why was SGS Malaysia’s accreditation terminated?” Neither RSPO nor ASI were willing to explain why SGS Malaysia’s accreditation had been terminated.
In 2014, Papua New Guinea became the world’s largest exporter of tropical timber. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Eleven years ago, PNG formed the Coalition for Rainforest Nations and presented the idea of REDD to the UN climate meeting in Montreal.
“Checking deforestation requires respect for our basic rights, which are the rights of all peoples and all human beings. Deforestation is unleashed when our rights are not protected and our lands and forests are taken over by industrial interests without our consent.”
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.
Norway is by far the biggest donor to REDD initiatives around the world, with two billion dollar deals, one in Brazil and one in Indonesia. But Norway’s Pension Fund invests way more in companies responsible for rainforest destruction.
In 2011, the 2,400 MW Bakun dam started operations in Sarawak, Malaysia. Transparency International described the US$2.2 billion project as a “monument to corruption”. The reservoir behind the dam flooded 70,000 hectares of forest. About 10,000 Indigenous People were forced into new houses that they had to pay for themselves.
One year ago, Wetlands International released a report that revealed that the rate of deforestation in Malaysia’s province of Sarawak is about 2% a year. Most is being converted to oil palm plantations. “Total deforestation in Sarawak is 3.5 times as much as that for entire Asia, while deforestation of peat swamp forest is 11.7 times as much,” the report states.