Note: Global Justice Ecology Project is the North American focal point for Global Forest Coalition.
-The GJEP Team
June 3, 2013. Source: Global Forest Coalition
As another round of climate talks opens today in Bonn, Germany, a coalition of human rights and forest groups have launched a manual for communities on alternatives to REDD+ and other forms of ‘green land grabbing’.
The manual, which has been produced by the Global Forest Coalition, Critical Information Collective, Biofuelwatch, the ICCA Consortium and EcoNexus highlights the risks of REDD+ projects and large-scale bioenergy production schemes for communities. Many of these schemes have been associated with involuntary displacements of communities and other forms of so-called ‘green land grabbing’.
“REDD+ was promoted with the fairy tale that it would generate up to 30 billion USD per year in payments to countries and communities who conserve forests, but the voluntary forest carbon offset market has provided less than 1 percent of that amount and public funding is declining” cautions Simone Lovera, executive director of the Global Forest Coalition, who will attend the upcoming talks. “So Indigenous Peoples and local communities risk being cheated into contracts that take away their rights to control their own lands and territories in exchange for very uncertain financial rewards.” Negotiations about REDD+ funding stalled at the climate talks in December 2012.
Demand for biomass (for biofuels and for manufacturing in proposed new ‘bioeconomies’) is already increasing rapidly, and is likely to lead to yet more landgrabbing and industrial logging in forests.
The manual proposes several alternatives to green land grabbing, including the recognition of territories and areas conserved by Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities (ICCAs) and the development of Community Protocols that help communities to identify their own conservation and development priorities.
“Indigenous Peoples and local communities have conserved their territories and areas before money was even invented” highlights M. Taghi Farvar, President of the ICCA Consortium. “They need something that can be given to them today, i.e. legal and political recognition of their own capacities and conservation efforts. They need policy support for sustainable livelihoods. They need the withdrawal of the perverse incentives that ruin their local economies… What they do not need is false promises about payments that might never come.”