Over the last week I have learned that the best way to figure out what is happening at this meeting is to listen to what people are talking about in the hallways and then ask someone about it. The last couple of days I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about biodiversity - as the language for the REDD decision is drafted by the delegates - so I decided to try and figure out what biodiversity had to do with climate change.
Rumour has it that there are attempts to remove the word “biodiversity” from the draft text for REDD. It might not seem like a big deal to some however, if you take the “biodiversity” out of the forest language, you could be left with just trees instead of forests. The problem with that is that trees are not forests. That means that countries could still clear cut forests and replace them with monoculture plantations and get credit for carbon sequestration. These plantations could eliminate the biodiversity that exists and threaten the health of the planet as a whole. Without text that includes language about biodiversity and indigenous people we could end up with a decision from this meeting that helps with climate change but is devastating to entire ecosystems.
Image © Greenpeace / Steve Morgan