REDD, REDD+, REDD++

REDDReducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation

REDD is a set of steps designed by the UN to be the successor of the Kyoto Protocol. The steps designed are for the use of establishing market/financial incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions due to deforestation and forest degradation.

Right about now you’re probably thinking that this plan is pretty good, definitely with the potential to be worthwhile and effective. Deforestation, forest degradation, conversion of pastureland, agricultural expansion, logging etc. Account for 20%+ of global green house gas emissions. To constrain the impacts of climate change and stabalise global temperatures within 2˚C we must protect our forests as well as other mitigation actions.

The purpose of REDD is to put a price on carbon, a price on trees, a price on nature. These steps were made by people who do not live in the forests, people whose only goal in life is to accumulate more money and made by people who do not truly care about the planet. In short, REDD is just another way for companies to make more money, exploit and expropriate indigenous people.

When this plan was being written I am sad to say that the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand opposed any mention of the rights of the indigenous people within this text. This opposition was voiced in December 2008, Poznan COP14. It also seems to have held true throughout COP16 as well.

A pressing problem about the REDD text is that it has a loophole that is detrimental to the environment and indigenous people. There is a paragraph from the REDD+ text which is also the only agreed text available to analyse.

“Policy approaches and positive incentives on issues relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries; and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries”

The above paragraph is from paragraph 1b(ii) also referred to as the REDD text. When you first read it, it sounds pretty fair and straight forward. What they are actually implying and allowing a loophole in is that “conservation” is generally the establishment of a national park in relation to indigenous peoples this means loss of rights to their own land and large scale evictions. “Sustainable management of forests” could imply grants for commercial logging in old-growth forests and invasion in local villagers and indigenous territory. “Enhancement of forest carbon stocks” could include the conversion of land, meaning the logging of all trees in the said area for industrial tree plantation that has serious implications for biodiversity the native fauna and flora as well as local communities. The UN fails to differentiate between “plantations” and “forests” therefore companies may replace trees already there with a plantation to gain grants and a larger profit from their plantation.

Deforestation now is having detrimental effects on indigenous people as well the environment in general. Many areas are being illegally logged where whole tribes are being wiped out, literally everybody is murdered. You may wonder why and how this is happening because tribes are usually quite large. What the problem is, is that most forests have tribes people who have never had contact with the outside world before and this means we have no knowlege of where they live, who they are and how best to protect them. Illegal loggers are ruthless they kill animals, they kill human beings basically anything that is getting the way of their profit and wood. Legal loggers may not kill but they are no better, they basically use scare tactics, lie, exploit in a bid to oust the people living in the area they want to log in.

A prominent factor resulting in deforestation and loss of forests is the rise in global population. As more people are coming in to this world and less people are dying more food and habitable land is needed. The next logical step would be to remove trees, build homes, build cattle ranches and build plantations. Once this has all been done the land cannot be reused or be returned to how it once was. A quote from a  member of the Awa tribe who lives in the Amazon forest is,  “they plant this grass for the cattle but it does not last and then they move on to plant more. The forest can never grow back. They will finish it off, and we cannot live without it.”

Trees are a vital part of our fight against climate change and ancient cultures never learnt about are disappearing daily. Forget the culture, people who wouldn’t stand a chance against guns and machetes are being killed for land. They are losing their human rights. They are losing their whole world and they are fed up.

“No more REDD! No more REDD+, REDD++ and REDD+++! They are all pure corporations. I am here to tell you that we, the indigenous people, defend the nature. We want to bring conscience to all people.”

Some tribes that are known to modern society are taking action for their rights, the Awa tribe and Penan tribe-from Malaysia are suing the state government and companies from logging on their 15,000 hectare land without consent from the Penan tribe. The Awa tribe pretty much want the same thing as the Penan and other tribes all over the world. They want their land back without risk of illegal logging and exploitation.

REDD is a feasible plan that may work but the problem is with all the loopholes and corruption. This plan is made in the interests for people who frankly don’t care much about tribes being killed daily, they don’t even care about the destruction of the Earth. If this plan was made in conjunction with the indigenous tribes then it may be a success. Even if we managed to do so then it’s highly likely the plan would be rejected unless voted upon by the consensus of the people and not high ranking politicians and government bodies. I seriously hope that we may be able to extirpate this corrupted piece of text before it is too late.

Also the first REDD methodology has already been approved at Cancún 2010, for more information on the plight of tribes you can go to: http://www.survivalinternational.org/

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