Two days ago, Greenpeace set up a Climate Defenders Camp on the Kampar Peninsula in Riau province, Sumatra. The camp will remain there for several weeks to highlight the importance of protecting forests on peat soils. The soils on the Kampar Peninsular store about 2 billion tonnes of carbon.
Representatives from social and environmental organisations and movements met recently for two days in Belém, Pará state, Brazil to discuss REDD. After the meeting they produced a letter calling on the Government of Brazil to reject REDD as a carbon market-based mechanism.
The Harapan Rainforest Project covers an area of 100,000 hectares of extremely biodiverse lowland rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia. Without the project, the forest would be destroyed. Two former logging concessions operated in the area. It is bordered by oil palm plantations and active logging concessions. Yet it is still relatively intact.
Papua New Guinea’s forest carbon trading fiasco is back in the news. The focus is on Kirk Roberts, pictured right, his company Nupan (PNG) Trading Limited and an Australian carbon trading firm, Carbon Planet. “It’s no secret that I am one of the most important foreigners in PNG,” Roberts says. But his opponents have called him “the kingpin of the ‘carbon cowboys'”.
On 16 July 2009, Mekere Morauta, the leader of the opposition in Papua New Guinea, made a statement in Parliament about carbon trading and the role of the Office of Climate Change. Having received no answers to his questions, he produced a new media statement at the end of August 2009, repeating his questions to the prime minister.
From 5-8 August 2009, the Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago (Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara – AMAN) held a national consultation of indigenous communities on Climate Change and REDD. At the end of the meeting, the participants produced the Sinar Resmi Declaration (available in Bahasa Indonesia below).
The Harapan Rainforest project in Sumatra, Indonesia is becoming increasingly controversial. A new film documents how local people are excluded from the project and how their livelihoods are threatened by the project. The Harapan project is run by PT Restorasi Ekosistem Indonesia (PT REKI), which consists of a local group Burung Indonesia, the UK’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and BirdLife International.
On 8 July 2009, the Rights and Resources Initiative and Chatham House held a meeting on “Forests, Governance and Climate Change” at the Royal Society in London. Among the speakers was Marcus Colchester of the Forest Peoples Programme, who spoke about the importance of recognising rights in the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility.
On Monday, 8 June 2009, protesters gave delegates arriving to the climate negotiations in Bonn a simple message: “Halt climate change. Halt forest destruction. Halt plantations.” Compared to the mind-numbingly complex negotiations inside the Maritim Hotel, it was nice to have a clear vision of what the talks should be about.
Early in the morning of 5 June 2009, the Peruvian military police violently attached a group of indigenous people who were peacefully blockading a road outside of Bagua, in northern Peru. Protesters included many women and children. Police dropped tear gas bombs from helicpoters and fired live ammunition from both sides into the crowd, trapping some of the protesters.
Last year, Prince Charles visited Indonesia and planted an ironwood sapling at the Harapan Rainforest project in Sumatra. A month later, Sarwadi Sukiman, a farmer from Sumatra went to the Polish city of Poznan for the UN climate negotiations. He was there with Via Campesina to protest about the project.