REDD is “no silver bullet”, admits Ola Elvestuen Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment

Last month saw the Oslo Tropical Forest Forum 2018, 10 years after REDD was included in the Bali Road Map, at the UN climate negotiations in December 2007. “The goal of the forum is to celebrate results and identify remaining challenges,” according to the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation’s website about the event.

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Guest Post: Norwegian climate policy affects the poorest

Hanne Svarstad and Tor A. Benjaminsen have been carrying out research into REDD in Tanzania for several years. Svarstad is a political ecologist, sociologist and professor in Development Studies at Oslo Metropolitan University. Benjaminsen is a human geographer and professor of Development Studies at the Department of International Environment and Development Studies (Noragric), Norwegian University of Life Sciences.

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Norway’s Office of the Auditor General investigation into Norway’s rainforest billions: “Progress and results delayed, uncertain feasibility and effect, risk of fraud not well managed”

Over the past ten years, Norway has handed out almost US$3 billion (NOK 23.5 billion) on stopping tropical deforestation. On 15 May 2018, the Office of the Auditor General completed its investigation into Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative. The report is critical.

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REDD myth no. 4: REDD will be quick and cheap

In December 2007, Norway’s then-prime minister Jens Stoltenberg launched Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI). Stoltenberg announced that Norway would be handing out more than US$500 million a year “to prevent deforestation in developing countries”. Stoltenberg was convinced that stopping deforestation would be quick and cheap.

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Jane Goodall Institute’s REDD project in Tanzania: A totalitarian approach to conservation that led to increased inequity, undermining of democracy, and violent evictions

In March 2009, Norway launched its REDD programme in Tanzania. This was a “nested approach”, that was to include developing a national REDD strategy, national forest monitoring, and local pilot projects. About one-third of Norway’s US$90 million went to eight NGOs. One of these NGOs was the Jane Goodall Institute.

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Environmental organisations call on Democratic Republic of Congo not to open up its rainforest to loggers

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.

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The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has abandoned any pretence of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation

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.

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Opening up 4.6 million hectares to mining in Brazil is the “biggest attack on the Amazon of the last 50 years”. So why do Norway and Germany still describe REDD in Brazil as a “success”?

“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.”

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