FEATURED ARTICLE: The Economist: Hope for the trees

The Economist

Forests and climate change

Hope for the trees

Modest progress has been made on saving forests—it needs to accelerate

Dec 19th 2015 | PARIS | From the print edition



Hope for the trees…what about the forest peoples who have been the forests’ best protectors?

REDD does not require the enforcement of the land tenure and safeguard (read Human Rights) for forest peoples(see Decision 1/CP.16:72.), rather it endangers them.

The world’s unprotected forests and their peoples primarily exist because these forests were not profitable to exploit due to inaccessibility or danger. REDD+ in the Paris Agreement (REDD is creating an economic incentive to now make these forests and their peoples much more profitable to exploit but without the enforcement of the rights that will protect forest peoples & create well regulated markets. Carbon credit entrepreneurs, Government entities and NGOs have started promoting REDD without required safeguards in the last remote forests.

Money for REDD seems to be easier to come by than requiring the rule of law in remote forests. REDD could be easily gamed unless it requires standards for resource tenure and human rights. There will never be enough environmental cops to protect these forests from either those who are “above or outside the law” , or those “below the law” , marginalized forest people, who have no long-term legal stake in their forests.

Jorge Furagaro Kuetgaje, climate coordinator for COICA, the Indigenous People of the Amazon Basin stated, “For us to continue to conserve the tropical forests … we need to have strong rights to those forests. Death should not be the price we pay for playing our part in preventing the emissions that fuel climate change.” A Global Witness report found that at least 116 environmental activists were murdered in 2014, and 40% of the victims were indigenous.

Agrawal, A (2008) ‘Livelihoods, carbon and diversity of community forests: trade offs and win wins?, “shows that the larger the forest area under community ownership the higher the probability for better biodiversity maintenance, community livelihoods and carbon sequestration.”

World Bank SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT WORKING PAPERS Paper No. 120/December 2009 stated,”…a relatively insignificant investment in recognizing tenure rights has the potential to significantly improve the world’s carbon sequestration and management capacity…, prioritizing policies and actions aimed at recognizing forest community tenure rights can be a cost-effective step to improve the likelihood that REDD programs meet their goals.”

REDD supporter, what is your strategy to amend REDD to ensure the recognition and enforcement of resource tenure and human rights for forest peoples prior to REDD payment or funding?

Find further analysis of rights lacking in REDD+ at livingstoryfoundation.wordpress.com


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