Tag Archives: REDD

Making Contact Radio: Saving or Selling the Planet? REDD, Climate Change and Indigenous Lands | National Radio Project

Note: This episode of Making Contact is based upon the Global Justice Ecology Project DVD “A Darker Shade of Green: REDD Alert and the Future of Forests,” produced earlier this year.

To order a copy of the DVD, which includes two bonus features, email: info@globaljusticeecology.org

To listen to the Making Contact episode, click the link below:

making contact

Saving or Selling the Planet? REDD, Climate Change and Indigenous Lands | National Radio Project.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Carbon Trading, Chiapas, Climate Change, Earth Radio, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Illegal logging, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration

KPFK Pacifica Los Angeles Interview with GJEP Executive Director Anne Petermann on the Durban Disaster

Global Justice Ecology Project Executive Director Anne Petermann was interviewed on the Sojourner Truth show with Margaret Prescod on KPFK on Thursday, January 5 about the outcomes from the UN Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa and the civil society protests there.

To listen, click on the link below and scroll to minute 37:56:


Global Justice Ecology Project partners with the Sojourner Truth show on KPFK Los Angeles for a weekly Earth Minute every Tuesday and weekly interviews with activists on key environmental and ecological justice issues every Thursday.  In addition, during major events such as the UN Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa, we organize daily interviews Tuesday through Friday.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, Posts from Anne Petermann, REDD, UNFCCC

Global Justice Ecology Project Director Anne Petermann Ejected from COP17

Delegates from Mauritius, South Africa, and Elsewhere Expelled as Well

GJEP's Anne Petermann (right) and GEAR's Keith Brunner (both sitting) before their forced removal. Photo: Langelle/GJEP

December 9, 2011, Durban, South Africa – Civil society activists erupted into protest in the halls of the UN Climate Summit this afternoon, blocking the plenary halls and bursting into chants of “Climate Justice Now!”, “Don’t Kill Africa!”, “World Bank out of Climate Finance, “No Carbon Trading,” and “No REDD!” When UN Security began to remove the activists, Anne Petermann, Executive Director of GJEP, sat down. When she was asked to leave willingly, she refused to comply. While others were escorted out, Petermann, and GEAR’s Keith Brunner refused to go.  Brunner was carried out and Petermann was lifted into a wheelchair, and rolled out of the Conference Center.

Close by was Karuna Rana, a 23 year-old woman from Mauritius, who similarly refused to comply.

Crowd scene in the hallway. Photo: Langelle

Petermann sent the following statement to a press conference held by Climate Justice Now!, a coalition co-founded  in 2007 by Petermann and GJEP:

“I took this action today because I believe this process is corrupt, this process is bankrupt, and this process is controlled by the One percent. If meaningful action on climate change is to happen, it will need to happen from the bottom up. The action I took today was to remind us all of the power of taking action into our own hands. With the failure of states to provide human leadership, and the corporate capture of the United Nations process, direct action by the ninety-nine percent is the only avenue we have left.”

On hearing the news of Petermann’s expulsion, Flora Mmereki, of Botswana, who also took part in the spontaneous protest, said, “It really broke my heart seeing Anne taken out in a wheelchair, because she was acting for climate justice. It is so, so sad to see how they are treating people who stand up for humanity.”

Karuna Rana, at the action earlier in the day. Photo: Langelle

Karuna Rana, of Mauritius, is in Durban with a group of young journalists called Speak Your Mind. Runa, standing with Petermann in the rain at “Speaker’s Corner,” the Occupy site outside the Conference Center, explained her motivation: “I went to the protest action to take a picture, but I got emotionally empowered and I started to take part. I am the only young Mauritian here, so I found it my responsibility to speak on behalf of Mauritius, of small islands, and of global youth. I’m scared for my future. Mauritius is a small island state and it’s terribly unfair to have no voice in this process. If I did not take a stand, my voice would not have reached the negotiators.”

Petermann said, “We willingly took this action that cost us our credentials because we know that the only time to act is now. We hope that our refusal to move – our refusal to comply with the bankrupt UNFCCC process – will inspire others to take action in support of a new world – a transformed world that will be rooted in justice and in harmony with the earth.”

Emotions were high during the protest. Photo: Langelle

Petermann will sit out the rest of COP17 at the Speakers’ Corner, as global decision-makers come to the most likely outcome of these negotiations: a new non-binding legal framework, to begin in 2015, to begin voluntarily reducing emissions in 2020.

Local Desmond D’Sa, of South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, who was expelled as well, said, “We cannot wait for 2020, as that will result in millions being displaced or dying in poverty due to extreme climatic conditions.”

In other words, the talks have failed, the world powers are stalling for time, and the voice of civil society is locked out. Again.

Locked out, but for how long? Photo: Langelle


Filed under Actions / Protest, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Pollution, REDD, UNFCCC

Earth Minute for September 27: World Bank-Supported “Forest Protection” in Indonesia

Global Justice Ecology Project partners with Margaret Prescod’s Sojourner Truth show on KPFK–Pacifica Los Angeles radio show for a weekly Earth Minute on Tuesdays and a weekly 12 minute Environment Segment every Thursday.

This week’s Earth Minute discusses the workshop on REDD at the World Bank’s annual meetings in Washington, DC.  To listen to the show, click here.

Text from this week’s Earth Minute:

At the annual meetings of the World Bank in Washington, DC, last weekend, I attended a workshop organized by activists from Indonesia about the impacts of World Bank-supported forest conservation projects like REDD.  REDD is the scheme to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation that is specifically designed to supposedly “offset” carbon emissions from Industrialized countries like the US by protecting forests in developing countries.

One of the presenters explained that unjust forest conservation projects in Indonesia are leading to violence that rivals the atrocities that occurred under the Suharto dictatorship.

Thousands of forest-based communities are being evicted from their lands by heavily armed forest rangers, paramilitaries and police, who force people to leave at gunpoint while their homes are burned to the ground.

But as one of the speakers pointed out, what is happening in Indonesia is not unique; these strong-arm tactics are happening around the world in the name of “protecting” forests for the purpose of offsetting pollution in Industrialized countries like the US

For the Earth Minute and the Sojourner Truth show, this is Anne Petermann from Global Justice Ecology Project.

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Filed under Climate Change, Earth Minute, False Solutions to Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples, REDD

Anne Petermann Reporting from Amsterdam and The Hague

Camila Moreno from Brazil, speaks to the crowd about the dangers of agro-energy in The Hague. Photo: Petermann, GJEP/GFC

By Anne Petermann

(The first section is from Tuesday, May 25th, the second section from earlier today)

Ah, the red eye flight on a standing room only plane.  There’s nothing like it…

Upon emerging from the jam packed metal tube full of people where the other occupants and I had been collectively attempting (mostly futilely) to catch a few hours of sleep, and trudging through the cold hard terminal, I stepped into the cool sunshine of Amsterdam and breathed a sigh of relief.

Into the taxi and straight to the lunch organized for the participants of the annual Board meeting of the Global Forest Coalition at their International office.  Always good to see old friends and colleagues—Camila from Brazil, Fiu from Samoa, Simone from Paraguay, Yolanda from Amsterdam, Estebancio from Panama.  While the board meeting was tacked relatively last minute on to take advantage of so many people from GFC being in the same place, the real purpose of the congregation of people was to take part in a tour designed to inform decision-makers and various organizations around the EU about the dangers of genetically engineered trees (also called GM trees or transgenic trees) and wood-based agro-energy.

My job at the GFC board meeting was to represent the decisions of the GFC Coordinating Group, of which Global Justice Ecology Project is a part, that were made at the annual Monitoring, Evaluation and Planning meeting of GFC in Panama in late-January.  This was where Orin (co-Director/ Strategist of GJEP) and I had last seen many of these friends—on the island of El Porvenir in Kuna Yala, on the Caribbean coast.

Kuna Yala is the independent territory of the Kuna people, won from Panama in the early 1900s.  The ride from the airport in Panama City across Panama and over the mountains that separate Panama from Kuna Yala was simply spectacular.  Tropical forest dotted occasionally by small homesteads as far as the eye can see.

One of the major themes of the Kuna Yala meeting was the issue of REDD (the UN and World Bank scheme to supposedly reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation).  REDD has, of necessity, been a major focus of forest dependent peoples and their allies since it was announced in Bali at the UN Climate summit in 2007.  When  the World Bank held their press conference to announce their Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (their precursor to REDD) it was greeted by loud and raucous protest.Panama has already been experiencing the impacts of the implementation of REDD, and Kuna activists such as Marcial Arias, the Spanish Speaking Focal Point for Indigenous Peoples for GFC, have been very eloquent and passionate in exposing the destructive impacts REDD has had on Indigenous communities in Panama and elsewhere.

Land grabbing, “protection” of forests through the exclusion or eviction of forest dependent communities, expansion of monoculture tree plantations and massive new profits for the timber industry are just a few of the lovely side effects of REDD.

Another little known effect is the promotion of genetically engineered trees under the auspices of REDD.  In 2003, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change decided that GE trees could be used in forestry projects designed to store carbon. In addition, because the UN definition of forests is incomprehensibly unscientific, REDD projects supposedly designed to protect forests (or at least their carbon) can include transgenic trees.  The irony of allowing a forest protection scheme to include trees that will destroy biodiversity and contaminate forests with engineered traits, is yet one more reason why REDD is being rejected by peoples and organizations around the world.

Another nail in the coffin of REDD for me was my experience at the World Forestry Congress in Buenos Aires last October.  This conference—which only occurs once every six years—was a revelation.  The doublespeak of the forestry companies, World Bank personnel and their co-conspirators at the big Green groups was amazing.  Their logic revolved around the best ways to profit from the implementation of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation scheme while simultaneously profiting from increased deforestation for the large-scale use of wood to produce energy (electricity, heat and liquid transport fuels)—and how to sell both as solutions to the climate crisis.  It doesn’t get much more opportunistic than that.

It is for this reason that Global Justice Ecology Project joined forces with Global Forest Coalition, BiofuelWatch and Friends of the Earth International for this GE Trees and Agro-energy tour.  Europe is galloping ahead with plans to use biomass (woodchip derived electricity) and agrofuels (large-scale unsustainable liquid biofuels) to meet their target of 20% of their energy being “renewable” by 2020.  This tour is designed to inform European decision-makers and other NGOs that we cannot look to trees to replace fossil fuels.  Projections from industry indicate that use of wood for energy production will double or even triple the demand for wood globally in the coming decades.  Being that the demand for wood is already unsustainable, how can anyone possibly suggest that we can use wood for energy production sustainably—or more ridiculously—as part of climate mitigation?

This is one false solution that must be nipped in the bud.  And that is exactly what this tour is designed to do.

From Wednesday, May 26th

The tour today stopped at The Hague in the Netherlands to speak to a room packed with Dutch Parliamentarians, other environmental and social justice organizations and even a few industry representatives.

Fiu Mataese Elisara from Samoa chaired the meeting and emphasized the importance of getting to the bottom of the concerns about wood-based agro-energy because of the critical need to find real solutions to the climate crisis and to not get bogged down in the false solutions.  Being from Samoa, he knows what he is talking about.  His is from one of the small island nations threatened with total oblivion from rising sea levels due to climate change.  Fiu is a very articulate and passionate representative of the Indigenous Peoples of the Pacific.  He is also one of our New Voices on Climate Change speakers.  You can learn more about Fiu by going to his bio on our website.

Camila Moreno did the first presentation of the day, that set the tone for the event.  Camila is Global Justice Ecology Project’s representative in Brazil and also one of our New Voices On Climate Change speakers. Her presentation on the impacts of wood-based agro-energy on Brazil was extremely powerful.  She spoke not only about the impacts of monocultures in Brazil (sugarcane, soy, eucalyptus) for energy and paper, but also about the intense resistance going on in Brazil against the eucalyptus plantations, which they call Green Deserts.  She got a lot of questions from the participants about the outright rejection of certification schemes by Brazilian movements.  But as Camila, and later Deepak Rughani from BiofuelWatch, pointed out, certification legitimizes whatever is being certified.  And for the movements in Brazil, the monocultures cannot be legitimate.

Next came Dorette Corbey, of the Biomass Commission of the Dutch Parliament.  She spoke about the need for sustainability criteria, not only for so-called “renewable” energies like biomass and agrofuels, but also for all energies—including oil, natural gas and coal.  Her presentation following Camila’s set off a strong debate about sustainability criteria and certification schemes and whether or not they can be helpful or are innately harmful.

Unfortunately, following this presentation and debate Camila had to leave to catch a plane to a conference on REDD being put on by the Norwegian government in Oslo.  She and Estebancio Castro, of the Kuna Nation in Kuna Yala are both participating in this event to try to highlight the social and ecological costs of REDD and to encourage the Norwegian government to stop promoting it.  In 2007 the Norwegian government pledged $5 million to the World Bank for their Forest Carbon Partnership Facility during the World Bank’s press conference in Bali—ignoring the passionate cries of the protesters outside that this scheme was going to cause irreparable harm to peoples and ecosystems.

Deepak went next and provided a very detailed and statistics-rich presentation about the future forecasts of the amount of wood that will be needed to meet the projected growing demand for wood-based agro-energy.  It was a frightening presentation.   Think about the demand for wood doubling or tripling from its current level.  We are already losing the last of the primeval biodiversity-rich forests because current demand can’t be sustainably met.  The wood-based bioenergy path is one to certain planetary suicide.

My presentation came next and I focused on the implications of the commercialization of genetically engineered trees specifically designed to provide the products that fossil fuels do today—such as liquid fuels, jet fuel, chemicals, plastics, electricity and heat.  As fossil fuels become scarcer and harder to access—and with backlash from catastrophes like the BP-Haliburton disaster in the Gulf—fuels derived from plants are rising in importance.  But there is no way to engineer trees or anything else to take the place of fossil fuels.  There is simply not enough land to do it.  Craig Venter—the mad scientist who seeks to create new life forms—recently announced that he had succeeded in his mad objective.  He had successfully created the first fully synthetic living organism.  The purpose for these organisms?  To manufacture life forms that create “designer” enzymes that can be used to transform cellulose (from trees or other plants) into plastics, chemicals or fuel.

Of course there have been no risk assessments and this mad science is so new it is basically unregulated. Once again humans are barreling ahead without pausing to consider the possible consequences.  It is the same for GE trees.  Risk assessments have not been done.  What will be the long-term impact of ArborGen’s cold-tolerant eucalyptus trees escaping into native forest ecosystems in the U.S. South?  We do not know.  Decision-makers are not asking that question and scientists are forbidden from seeking the answer—unless they get prior permission from ArborGen.

Which brings me to the day’s last presentation, which was by Mary Lou Malig, the Trade Campaigner for Focus on the Global South who brought the whole wood-based agro-energy question back to the global trade in forest products and who is going to profit from this nightmare.

And at the end of the day, that is what it ultimately comes down to.  Who is going to profit from these potentially disastrous schemes—and who is going to stop them…

Tomorrow:  London

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Filed under GE Trees, Posts from Anne Petermann

Copenhagen Report Back with Anne Petermann

Listen to Executive Director, Anne Petermann, give a 28 minute report-back on Copenhagen in a radio interview with Kellia Ramares from Broadcaster at Large: Challenging the Assumptions We Live By, which is also being broadcast through the Women’s International News Gathering Service (WINGS).

Click here for the website and then Click on “Podcast – Climate Justice” in the menu on the left side of the screen.

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Filed under Copenhagen/COP-15

GJEP’s Anne Petermann on WORT FM

October 26th--Check out Global Justice Ecology Project’s E.D., Anne Petermann, speaking about the links between forests, the REDD scheme and the upcoming climate talks in Copenhagen (CorporateHaven) on WORT’s program A Public Affair out of Madison, Wisconsin.  She is in interviewed in the second half of the show after co-author of Climate Coverup, The Crusade to Deny Global Warming, James Hogan.

To listen, please click HERE

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Filed under Climate Change