In Poznan, France pushes initiative to save rainforests
December 8, 2008
France, which holds the rotating EU presidency, is supporting a proposal to include emissions reduction from deforestation and forest degradation in E.U. efforts to meet reduction targets, including possible inclusion in compliance markets post-2012 provided the mechanism adheres to strict standards of effective, transparent governance, respecting rights and equitable compensation of forest-dependent peoples, and co-benefits of REDD such as biodiversity protection and poverty alleviation. The proposal recommends investment in forest protection efforts before 2012 and calls for study to create the GFCM and to possibly include forestry in the E.U. ETS, according to Dr. Fred Boltz, Vice-President of Conservation International, who has reviewed the document.
Discussions in Poznan on the so-called REDD mechanism have been beset by methodological issues and concerns among some activists that the scheme would displace forest-dependent people from their lands. Supporters of the mechanism say REDD — which could send $10-25 billion per year to developing countries — could be a tool for alleviating rural poverty through sustainable development while slowing biodiversity loss and protecting forest ecosystems.
"This is not merely about forests; it is about people," said Boltz. "Climate change and conservation are human issues requiring urgent solutions. Under commitments by governments, donors, indigenous peoples and local communities, and NGOs to reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD), we have an opportunity to help resolve the economic and social inequities that are leading to massive deforestation, vulnerable local communities, poverty, biodiversity extinction, and climate change. We hope the rest of the world will follow France's ambitious effort to address the magnitude and complexity of the climate challenge. Our generation must take bold, visionary actions."
Deforestation and forest degradation is the second largest source of anthropogenic emissions, accounting for some 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, a larger share than all the world's cars, trucks, airplanes, and ships combined.
The Poznan conference runs through December 12. Next year's meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, will lay out the successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
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