UN Climate Deal Could Pay for Forest Destruction

For Immediate Release        Friday 5 December

Joint release: Global Forest Coalition, The Wilderness Society and Global
Justice Ecology Project

UN Climate Deal Could Pay for Forest Destruction
Carbon Karma Fortune-telling Action Foretells REDD Profits

Poznan, Poland–<http://www.globalforestcoalition.org>Global Forest
Coalition, <http://www.wilderness.org.au/>The Wilderness Society,
<http://www.globaljusticeecology.org>Global Justice Ecology Project and
concerned youth highlighted the risks associated with the implementation of
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) in a
“REDD fortune-telling” action today at the UN Climate conference here.  In
its current form, they argue, REDD could derail the Climate Convention and
undermine a post-2012 Climate agreement.


In a parody of what calculations of carbon base lines have become,
fortune-tellers introduced a new ‘methodology’ to predict future
deforestation rates.  They rounded up delegates from different countries to
read their “Carbon Karma” by gazing into a crystal ball to see how much the
rate of deforestation in the delegate’s country would rise in the future,
and hence how much money they could expect to make from REDD for reducing
that predicted rate of future deforestation (i.e. increasing the rate of
deforestation more slowly).

The action also exposed another major problem with REDD-that the inclusion
of REDD into the carbon market will mainly benefit the countries and actors
that have caused most of the world’s deforestation.  These countries would
receive the greatest benefits from REDD, where countries that have
successfully conserved their forests would be left out.  Many of the false
solutions proposed, like the “stock-flow approach” or the proposal to work
with “flexible and adaptive country-specific baselines” will further create
massive amounts of false carbon credits, thereby allowing the continued
emissions of carbon from industrialized countries.

Other risks to REDD include the promotion of tree plantations and the
violation of Indigenous Peoples’ rights.   Marcial Arias, of the Kuna
Indigenous Peoples and <http://www.globalforestcoalition.org>Global Forest
Coalition said:  “The Indigenous Peoples will lose in the REDD regime as
proposed and most of the funding will go to those who are destroying the
forests”.

A statement issued earlier from the International Indigenous Peoples Forum
on Climate Change (IIPFCC) read:  “We call for the suspension of all REDD
initiatives in Indigenous territories until such a time that Indigenous
Peoples’ rights are fully recognized and promoted”. [1]

Gemma Tillack, a youth representative from Tasmania, Australia and a
spokesperson for <http://www.wilderness.org.au/ >The Wilderness Society
concluded:  “If the current definition of ‘forests’ is used in REDD, it
could lead to the massive direct and indirect replacement of carbon rich
forests by monoculture tree plantations, and the violation of Indigenous
Peoples rights. Some developed countries have been using a loophole in the
definition to convert biodiverse, carbon dense forests to biologically
barren monoculture tree plantations without incurring any emission penalty,
despite the disastrous impact this practice has on biodiversity, local
communities and CO2 emissions”.

<http://www.globalforestcoalition.org>Global Forest Coalition chairperson,
Dr. Miguel Lovera    +48  726 078 399
<http://www.wilderness.org.au/ >The Wilderness Society spokesperson, Sean
Cadman       + 61 437 075 212
<http://www.globalforestcoalition.org>Global Forest Coalition media
coordinator, Orin Langelle  +48  696 723 046

NOTE:
[1] This statement on REDD was adopted by the International Forum of
Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change (IIPFCC) during its Preparatory meeting
scheduled November 27, 28, 29, 2008 in Poznan, Poland. The members of the
IIPFCC, is also known as he Indigenous Caucus of the COP14 of the UNFCCC.

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