Forest Carbon, Cash and Crime: New report from Global Witness

Forest Carbon, Cash and CrimeA new report by Global Witness reveals two conflicting views of REDD. First, forests are near the top of the global political agenda and REDD is an “unprecedented opportunity” to address deforestation. Second, “The potential for criminality is vast and has not been taken into account by the people who set it up,” as Interpol’s Peter Younger pointed out in 2009.

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The Carbon Bubble

The Carbon BubbleOne of the problems with REDD is that it will not address climate change, for the simple reason that to address climate change we need to reduce the amount of fossil fuel burned. While we need to reduce deforestation, trading carbon stored in forests against fossil fuel emissions will help lock in polluting technology.

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Eight problems with Norway’s REDD support to Guyana: Open letter to Erik Solheim

Eight problems with Norway's REDD support to Guyana: Open letter to Erik Solheim

Next week, Erik Solheim, Norway’s Minister of the Environment & International Development, will be visiting Guyana. A year ago, Solheim congratulated Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo when he was awarded the United Nations’ 2010 Champion of the Earth. Solheim described Jagdeo’s promotion of low carbon development as “an example for others to follow.”

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Guyana – Amaila Falls hydropower dam and access road

The access road to the Amaila Falls hydropower dam in Guyana’s forest is already under construction. The project is one of those listed in President Bharrat Jagdeo’s Low Carbon Development Strategy. Potential financiers of the hydropower project include the China Development Bank, the China Railway First Group, the InterAmerican Development Bank and the Norwegian Government.

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Increasing deforestation in Guyana gives Norway a headache

Increasing deforestation in Guyana gives Norway a headache

“The world is looking for a great example somewhere,” Jan Hartke, a consultant to the Clinton Foundation wrote in June 2009. “Wonderfully enough,” he continued, “President Jagdeo’s leadership has quite honestly inspired people around the world, and you really need leadership on something like this if we are able to get progress in Copenhagen. He will be able to show how other countries can follow the emergent Guyana model.”

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Indonesia: The three draft decrees

Indonesia’s proposed two-year moratorium on forest clearing is currently delayed, until President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono decides which one of at least two draft decrees he should sign. Two of the draft decrees, one from the Ministry of Forestry and the other by the REDD-Plus task force are posted below (in Indonesian).

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Indonesia delays moratorium on forest concessions

Indonesia delays moratorium on forest concessions. PHOTO: Greenpeace

On 30 December 2010, Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced that the province of Central Kalimantan had been selected as a pilot REDD province. (More on that decision in a future post.) But four days later, the Jakarta Globe reported that another part of the US$1 billion Indonesia-Norway REDD deal – the moratorium on forest clearing – was delayed.

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Shift2Neutral in the Philippines: fraudulent, incompetent or both?

Shift2Neutral in the Philippines: fraudulent, incompetent or both?

Shift2Neutral, a small Australia-based carbon trading company, has signed REDD-type deals in Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, the Solomon Islands, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Brazil. The total area of these projects is several million hectares. Yet almost nothing is known about this company, and the company chairman, Brett Goldsworthy, is reluctant to answer questions.

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Can money grow on trees? New report from the Australian Council for International Development

Can money grow on trees? New report from the Australian Council for International Development

A recent report published by the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) looks at REDD, “from a sustainable development standpoint”. While the report acknowledges the potential opportunities, it highlights the risks, including: “the potential exacerbation of poverty through loss of access to land, dislocation of forest communities, deprivation of property rights, and corruption.”

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