At the end of last week, just before the start of this year’s United Nations climate negotiations (COP20) in Lima, Peru, World Rainforest Movement and other signatories put out a call to action “to reject REDD+ and extractive industries to confront capitalism and defend life and territories”.
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.
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.”
“If you wondered whether capitalism could ever produce the perfect weapon of its own destruction, try this heady mix of carbon fuels, the trade in financial derivatives, and more than a dash of neo-colonialism, and boom!” This is Professor Stefano Harney, University of London, commenting on a new book: “Upsetting the Offset: The Political Economy of Carbon Markets”.
Sustainable Forestry Management Ltd was the name of a company incorporated in the Bahamas in October 1999. The company set up forestry projects and traded carbon credits. Its directors included Eric Bettelheim (Executive Chairman and General Counsel), Alan Bernstein (Chief Executive Officer), and Hugh van Cutsem (Director).
April Salumei is a REDD project in Papua New Guinea. Various companies, including Qantas, Eneco Energy Trade, and Norwegian supermarket chain Rema 1000, have bought carbon credits from the April Salumei REDD project. Should you so wish, you can buy carbon credits from the project on the USAID-funded website Stand for Trees.