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We don't want REDD: Including forests in carbon offset initiatives is detrimental and distracts from real solutions to climate change and deforestation

We don't want REDD: Including forests in carbon offset initiatives is detrimental and distracts from real solutions to climate change and deforestation


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By Otros Mundos, A.C.

Deforestation is responsible for around a fifth of annual carbon emissions and must stop. Neither the market mechanism for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), nor its versions REDD + and REDD ++, can be real solutions, and they are only patches from which corporations can take advantage of, without abandoning the system production, transportation and consumption, which is what is really destroying the planet.


From Other Worlds AC / Chiapas - Friends of the Earth Mexico, which will be present in Cancun at COP16, we express that:

Marketing forests should not be part of a fair international agreement to combat climate change. Including forests in carbon offset initiatives does not work, it distracts attention from actual measures to reduce emissions and prevent deforestation, and threatens Indigenous Peoples and local communities that depend on forests for their survival.

A few days ago, the governor of Chiapas, Juan Sabines, signed with the governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, an agreement to start a market for the sale of carbon credits, "with efforts focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions caused by due to deforestation and land degradation - known as REDD - ". It was also signed by the Governor of Acre, Brazil. The forests are thus placed at the service of the American way of life. And this is intended to be formalized by the political representatives at COP16 in Cancun at the global level.

“The ecological crisis, of which global warming is part, is palpably showing an essential principle that has been defended for millennia by native and indigenous peoples around the world: that human beings are part of an interdependent system of plants, animals, hills, forests, oceans and air that requires our respect and care. That system is what we call Mother Earth. "The earth does not belong to man, but man belongs to the earth." The Earth is not a set of things that we can appropriate, but rather a set of natural beings with whom we must learn to live in harmony and balance while respecting their rights. " (Special Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, Oct09)

A market mechanism to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation in developing countries (known as REDD and currently being negotiated in the UNFCCC) would allow developed countries to offset their emissions by purchasing carbon credits from forests in developing countries.

Including forests in carbon offset initiatives allows developed countries to buy forests while continuing to pollute. It is ineffective, dangerous, and will undermine efforts to stop climate change and deforestation. A market mechanism as such would not offer a fair or adequate framework for the protection of forests.

The REDD disaster


Buying forests to prevent them from being cut down can simply drive deforestation elsewhere and lead to land grabbing at the expense of the lives of communities and Indigenous Peoples who depend on the forests. More than 1.6 billion people depend on forests, including 60 million Indigenous Peoples who are totally dependent on forests for their livelihood, food, medicine, and building materials. Including forests in carbon markets will likely lead to land grabbing - leaving these communities fighting for their survival. This would be a disaster.

There is no guarantee that buying forests will result in lower carbon emissions.

Because the proposal allows plantations to be considered forests, REDD funding could be used to replace forests with large monoculture plantations. Plantations and forests are two completely different things.

Plantations have dire social and environmental impacts, which is why they must be excluded from the UN climate negotiations. Also, plantations only store 20 percent of the carbon in intact forests at best, so this would reduce the impact of REDD in reducing carbon emissions. And replacing forests with plantations can have devastating social and economic impacts on those who live in and depend on forests for food, shelter and medicine.

Deforest less, yes, but ...

We know that deforestation is responsible for around a fifth of annual carbon emissions and must stop. Measures to combat deforestation should therefore be combined with policies and initiatives to reduce overconsumption and protect forests from the impacts of agrofuel production (both conversion and indirect impacts), but not through the REDD mechanism.

Neither the market mechanism for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), nor its versions REDD + and REDD ++, can be real solutions, and they are only patches from which corporations can take advantage of, without abandoning the system production, transportation and consumption, which is what is really destroying the planet.

In addition, placing the responsibilities of the northern countries and companies of gas emissions and pollution on the south and their communities is a mockery and contempt for Justice. If, in addition, to be politically correct and silence critical voices, they introduce into these market mechanisms articles that speak of “consultation with the affected peoples”, “respect for native cultures”, etc. when they never respect the basic international and national treaties on human rights or the rights of indigenous peoples, not even those signed directly, such as the San Andrés Accords on Indigenous Rights and Culture, in the case of Mexico.

For all these reasons, we echo the Agreement of the Peoples of Cochabamba, when it states: “We condemn market mechanisms, such as the REDD mechanism (Reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) and its versions + and ++, which is violating the sovereignty of the Peoples and their right to free, prior and informed consent, as well as the sovereignty of national States, and violates the rights, uses and customs of the Peoples and the Rights of Nature ”, and we hope that the political representatives gathered at the UN COP16 reconsider and do not approve this unfair market mechanism.

The organization Other Worlds AC / Chiapas- Friends of the Earth Mexico will be present in Cancun, during COP16, to express its proposals, accompany the groups, organizations and networks that fight for a better, more equitable, harmonious and supportive world.

More information in:
http://otrosmundoschiapas.org/index.php/cambio-climatico/109-redd.html


Video: Net Carbon Negative (May 2022).