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New UN Climate Law: Protection or otherwise?

By Paromita Pain - 10 Dec 2010 9:55:0 GMT
New UN Climate Law: Protection or otherwise?

A new UN climate law, whose acronym REDD+ stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, the 'plus' referring to the protection of forest communities, is being negotiated at the Climate Conference in Cancun.

It has been heavily criticised by global environmental groups as being detrimental to climate mitigation policies already in place in various developing countries. But that's not all. In a press statement released by the US based Global Justice Ecology Project, it has been suggested that this scheme may “severely undermine climate mitigation policies and exacerbate environmental and social problems”.

Intense lobbying

In a recent research paper titled “No REDD – A Reader”, the Global Justice Ecology Project highlights how REDD+is being pushed by powerful interests to allow continued pollution and increase profits to a series of industries while damaging the rights of Indigenous Peoples and forest dependent communities and thus, the forests and ecosystems themselves.

No REDD – A Reader has been praised as a “must read for all who seek to know the truth about this mercantilist tool. It is also highly recommended for those who believe that policies to fight the current climate chaos must see the people and Mother Earth and not merely see trees as commodities for cash and carbon speculation,”   by Nnimmo Bassey, Chair of Friends of the Earth International and  Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action in Nigeria.

The articles in No REDD – A Reader dive into the layers of contradictions inherent in REDD and its power-base and look at the issues involved from the vantage point of communities living where REDD projects are taking place.

Saving nature?

Various groups protesting this include the Carbon Trade Watch and the Indigenous Environmental Network. “If we are going to save the climate, we need to focus on real solutions that assure that forests will be left standing and people's rights are respected,” stated Tom Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network.

Joanna Cabello from Carbon Trade Watch states, “The Ministry of Environment in Peru plans to implement REDD+ on 54 million hectares of the Peruvian Amazon, which would open the doors of more than half of forested territory to the carbon markets.”

The No REDD – A Reader document can be downloaded for free at http://noredd.makenoise.org/.