Climate Forum Poland: Spotlight on Congo Forests

Business Daily Africa (Nairobi, Kenya)
December 10, 2008

Climate change forum turns spotlight on Congo
by John Mbaria


As discussions at the ongoing conference on climate change enters the second week
in Poznan, Poland, there is widespread realisation that Africa has one of the most
significant keys to the mitigation against the gravest consequences of the crisis
and should be adequately compensated to keep it intact.

The multi-million square kilometre Congo Basin Forests hold the key. But the world
is yet to agree on how to preserve this second largest of the world’s last major
carbon sinks.

And so, disagreements have featured here over the last one week with civil society
bodies saying the much-talked about cash-for-conservation approach is fundamentally

“Paying for carbon credits will not be the answer,” lamented Mr Samuel Nnah Ndombe,
an Agricultural Economist with the Cameroon-based Centre for Environment and Development.

In an interview with the Business Daily, Mr Ndombe termed the Reducing Emission from
Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) as a cash-for-environment quick fix that might
in the end, not work.

“They go about it like it is all about money.” He nevertheless said  that the
approach resonates well with African bureaucrats and relevant governments who will
end up with additional disposable income.

“But such money fixes have little to offer to indigenous groups who have managed
relevant forests throughout history.”


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