I recently wrote an opinion piece for the magazine Development Today about Norway’s REDD deals in Brazil and Indonesia. The piece is posted in full (with permission) below.
Norway is a rich country because of its oil. It hopes to stay that way when the oil runs out. Since 1990, Norway has been putting its money from North Sea oil into a fund for future generations. The Government Pension Fund Global is now the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world.
Myth: “Deforestation accounts for 25 percent of all man-made emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.”
In November 2013, Guyanese government agencies released 41 reports to the National Assembly. Several of these were overdue, including a series of annual reports from the Guyana Forestry Commission from 2005 to 2012.
A recent study revealed that the Indonesian government has been telling lies about its rate of forest loss. The study found that between 2000 and 2003 the rate of deforestation in Indonesia was about one million hectares per year. In the years 2011 and 2012, the rate doubled to about two million hectares per year.
In February 2013, Greenpeace stopped campaigning against Asia Pulp and Paper in Indonesia. The reason was APP’s Forest Conservation Policy that promised to protect all areas of forest and peatlands in its suppliers’ concessions.
Yesterday, officials from the Police Administration of Pinchincha closed down Fundación Pachamama’s office in Quito. They left a resolution from the Ministry of Environment stating that the organisation is dissolved.
Earlier this month, two meetings took place, both focussing on oil palm plantations. The first was a meeting of communities and civil society and took place in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. The second was the 11th meeting of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia.
At a meeting last month organised by the Forest Stewardship Council, HSBC’s Francis Sullivan said that if a company doesn’t pass the bank’s sustainability risk tests, then it won’t get a loan.
Any proposal to reduce deforestation must find a way of addressing the causes of deforestation. So if REDD is a serious attempt to reduce deforestation it must address the causes of deforestation. But a recent paper by three of CIFOR’s scientists found that causes of deforestation are not part of discussions about REDD.