Greenpeace opposes forest conservation initiative in Indonesia

mongabay.com
April 02, 2009



Some suggest Greenpeace has overstated its claims.



Greenpeace criticized Indonesia's plan to reduce deforestation through a market-based emissions mechanism known as REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), reports AFP.

The environmental group — which is marketing its own non-market carbon scheme ahead of December's U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen — said that REDD would allow industrialized countries to continue emitting greenhouse gases while offering few benefits to local people.

"The market-oriented draft, which focuses more on investment rather than reducing deforestation, only benefits big (industrial) companies with huge emissions," Greenpeace Forest Campaigner Bustar Maitar said.

"Under the scheme, companies can easily pay for (forest) carbon credits while still being able to pollute. This won't help to reduce deforestation in this country."

In a report released this week, Greenpeace argued that introducing tradable forest credits would cause global carbon prices to tumble 75 percent, undermining a key incentive for development of clean technologies. Carbon market analysts meeting at a climate conference in Cuiaba, Brazil, expressed skepticism about the claim, noting that no one is seriously proposing an unrestricted market for REDD.

Greenpeace is instead proposing a "hybrid" mechanism that would include a global fund, financed by industrialized countries, to pay for forest conservation projects in tropical nations.

Other environmental groups are split on including forest carbon offsets under a future climate framework. The U.S. arm of WWF recently changed its stance on the issue citing the loss of more than 100 million hectares of forest since the exclusion of forestry from the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, and the Wildlife Conservation Society are all involved in forest carbon projects, while several indigenous groups have launched their own pilot projects in Brazil, where the Supreme Court just ruled that Indians own rights to carbon on their lands. Others, including Friends of the Earth and the World Rainforest Movement, have expressed deep concerns over REDD and similar schemes, fearing they will fail to reduce global emissions and could exacerbate conflicts over land, including seizure of forests used by indigenous people. Others say the top-down nature of some REDD projects could fuel corruption.

Nevertheless neither side denies the importance of rainforest conservation in helping mitigate climate change. Deforestation accounts for nearly 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. Deforestation and degradation is the primary source of emissions in Indonesia, which in recent years has ranked as the third largest CO2 emitter after China and the United States.






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mongabay.com (April 02, 2009).

Greenpeace opposes forest conservation initiative in Indonesia.

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