Bonn jour :-) and "hi" from the UNFCCC climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany where the Greenpeace forest team is working hard to secure a good REDD deal. The REDD concept is fairly simple: rich, developed countries provide funding to help developing countries protect their forests and invest in clean, green development). But we are not just listening, lobbying and negotiating. We are also campaigning. Last week we held a side event focused on the consultancy company McKinsey. I'm not going to get into that here so if you want to know more about that go to David's blog. What I want to let you know about is a spoof presidential decree from Brazil's President Dilma that we distributed yesterday morning.
The decree was about Brazil's Forest Code and although not under discussion here we believe it to be of such importance that we could not let the negotiations end without bringing the problem to the attention of the world's governments represented here.
Brazil is seen as a leader in reducing rainforest destruction so it is all the more important and urgent to let the international community know what is going on with the Forest Code. The new proposed version of the Forest Code is a dismal affair. It will weaken what in fact is a good law: it will grant amnesty to those who have deforested; reduce the areas to be protected; and lessen the responsibility of the government.
The new Forest Code, if it ever becomes law, will drastically reduce forest protection and kill the government’s goal to achieve an 80% reduction in Amazonian deforestation.
So yesterday morning a small team gathered inside the venue lobby and distributed the spoof decree to delegates as they entered for their early morning meetings. The response was good. Many of those reading it could be seen smiling once they realised that it was not true but a smart Greenpeace communication on what is required to protect Brazil’s rainforests. Simple, and let’s hope effective in initiating international support for President Dilma to deliver on her pre-election promises.
(John Bowler is Greenpeace Forest campaigner, from the UNFCCC Intersessionals in Bonn)