ffcside%20event.jpgAn update about our Forests for Climate side event from Michelle, Forests Campaign Director

Today our forest team held a side event to update parties and partners on our latest Forests for climate Proposal (formerly called the Tropical Deforestation Emissions Reduction Mechanism renamed Forests for Climate as TDERM sounded like a skin disease).

The side event opened with presentations from Amazon, Congo, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea and each illustrated the various issues associated with deforestation in these tropical forested countries. The thread that was carried throughout each of the presentations is that REDD(reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) is quite complex and the issues facing each region are equally complex and in order to avoid a greater than 2 degrees rise in global temperature we need a solution that can address these complex issues.

For example in Congo basin and in PNG the deforestation rate is not as high as the other regions and a market offsets system could lead to a perverse incentive of increase logging in order to cash in on the promised money the markets are supposed to deliver. Some other common themes were issues of land rights and corruption. Land rights issues have yet to be adequately addressed. In DR Congo for example 40 million people, of a total of 60 million, have no recognized rights to the land they depend on for their very livelihoods. Corruption and lack of governance can mean that countries in Africa would have limited access to a market offset mechanisms, with accounting standards being so strict, and there is doubt that the people who suffer most from the impacts of climate change will see any of the benefits from a market offset solution. And more importantly the people of the global south are most threatened by climate impacts and have no voice in this very western dominated UNFCCC process.

Greenpeace offered its Forests for Climate proposal as a solution that addresses the need to reduce global emissions, and not just from deforestation but also from industrialized countries, but it also promotes a fund that would include equity in addressing biodiversity and social issues. Our forests are more than just carbon sticks and a market offset approach will do little to ensure real emissions reductions in order to avert catastrophic climate change.

Image © Greenpeace/ Conrad Konstantynowiscz