Though it is now fading, great expectations were placed on REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) as a means to fund better forest protection in the Congo Basin and elsewhere. But in what ways has REDD strengthened or weakened land and resource rights of forest communities?

As most readers will be aware, virtually all forest land in the Congo Basin officially belongs to the state, and forest communities have no land titles to areas they have in some cases inhabited for generations. As well as being fundamentally unjust, this situation increases the insecurity of communities’ lives and according to studies leads to increased deforestation and degradation. In-country and international groups, such as the Rainforest Foundation UK, have been calling for recognition of these rights, which are enshrined in international law.

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RRDC’s REJOINDER

No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation Policy to meet rising Market demand for traceable, responsibly produced vegetable oil. (Singapore, 5 December, 2013)

As an NGO working extensively in the forest region of Cross River State of Nigeria, we have reasons to express some doubts about the implementation of the laudable objectives expressed in this press release issued by Wilmar International.   Within the Cross River State of Nigeria for instance, the blue print issued by Wilmar at the inauguration of her CALARO, IBEA & BIASE oil Palm Plantation projects on the 12th of November, 2012, in the Cross River State of Nigeria, shows that Wilmar International is intending to develop plantations over a territory that amounts to 50,000 hectares.  According to Wilmar, “the plan is to develop the initial 50,000 ha plantations in the next 5 year period.  We have so far completed acquisition of approx. 30,000 ha of land suitable for Oil Palm development in the Cross River State and have established nurseries at 3 locations – Calaro, Ibiea and Biase estates.”  More than eighty percent (80%) of these lands will include community forest and farmlands of indigenous communities which have never been cultivated as oil palm plantations.  There is therefore no way Wilmar International will be able to develop oil palm plantations in the New Planting territories without massive destruction of forest.

If Wilmar’s operations in Cross River State of Nigeria are only limited to revitalization of existing oil palm plantations, then there will indeed be no problem.  This would mean that the operations of Wilmar in this region will be limited only to revitalization of IBEA Estate, CALARO Estate, and Kwa falls Estate.  On the contrary, the facts on ground show that Wilmar is already in the process of developing plantations on community forestlands as well as areas of internationally recognized conservation interest.   

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 6, 2013

Denpasar, Indonesia - As the WTO struggles to resurrect itself in Bali, protesters denounced what they are calling “REDD Rice” – using GMO rice for the carbon market trading regime – and voiced concerns it could cause land grabs, impoverish peasants and privatize nature.

Over 75 organizations from all over the world including Indonesian groups, launched the No REDD Rice Manifesto to defend this sacred staple crop which feeds billions of people, from the clutches of carbon traders and the WTO.

According to the No REDD Rice Manifesto, “The United Nations, World Bank and fossil fuel polluters like Shell and Chevron and mining company Rio Tinto, have been pushing a carbon trading regime called REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation). REDD+ uses agricultural land, soils, forests and tree plantations as sponges for greenhouse gas emissions.”

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By Melanie Jae Martin

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At COP19, REDD+, a global carbon trading scheme, was passed. This jeopardizes the rights and resources of local communities throughout the global south, because of the prevalence of carbon-market-driven land grabs.

In protest of inaction on climate agreements, more than 800 attendees in environmental and development groups walked out of the recent COP19 UN climate summit in Warsaw. Their action followed a walkout of the G-77 group of developing nations. However, inaction did not pose the only threat to the countries most vulnerable to climate change. Rather, the REDD+ agreement reached at COP19 puts developing countries under threat of being colonized for their carbon.

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“REDD is bad for the climate, bad for the environment, bad for Californians, bad for human rights and bad for the economy”

By: redd-monitor

Last week, more than 60 activists protested outside the Le Parc Hotel in San Francisco against the presentation of Blue Green Alliance’s Right Stuff Award to governor Jerry Brown. Brown did not turn up to accept the award.

The protesters included indigenous leaders, environmentalists and labour activists, and they focussed on Brown’s support of fracking in California and support of REDD. One of the people at the protest was Steve Ongerth, founder of the IWW Environmental Caucus. He spoke about how much the Blue Green Alliance has changed since it was established in 1998 by two Earth First!ers. (The Blue Green Alliance seems to have forgotten this part of its history – on its website, it states that it was founded in 2006.) In a piece on Counterpunch, Ongerth describes Jerry Brown as “The Wrong Stuff”:

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(by NRAN-News)

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Jonas Aparecido de Souza, a peasant farmer and member of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) from the municipality of Antonino in the state of Paraná, Brazil, was one of the participants in a seminar on REDD that took place August 26-28 in Maputo, Mozambique. Jonas travelled to Mozambique to share his experience with a forest carbon project that has severely affected peasant communities in the area where he lives since the end of the 1990s. Today, that project is considered by the Brazilian Forest Service to be one of the “REDD activities that have yielded good results.”

But the story that Jonas told the seminar about the REDD project in his community is not a story about “good results”. On the contrary, he told the other participants about how this carbon project, promoted by SPVS, a Brazilian nature conservation NGO, led to the expulsion of traditional communities from his region – one of the best preserved areas of the Mata Atlântica or Atlantic Forest in Brazil.

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A new documentary, “Carbon Crooks”, will be broadcast on 9 September 2013 in Denmark. The film is directed by Tom Heinemann and documents the failure of carbon trading to address climate change and investigates some of the fraud in the carbon markets.

A trailer of the film has been released, and it looks great. The first interview in the trailer is with Daniel Butler, who was a carbon trader between 2004 and 2011. He broke the story about the stealing of €10 million worth of European Union emissions allowances (EUAs) from the Czech Republic’s carbon registry in January 2011. “In the early days it was a good business. I could make roughly €50,000 in five minutes,” Butler says.

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By REDD-MONITOR

In August 2013, the No REDD in Africa Network met in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. The members of the Network, which was launched at the World Social Forum earlier this year, produced a short statement, posted in full below.

In the past few weeks, REDD in Africa has hit the headlines several times. In Madagascar, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the government of Madagascar announced that 705,588 carbon credits are certified for sale from the Makira REDD+ Project. WCS estimates that the 400,000 hectare project will prevent emissions of 32 million tons over the next 30 years.

“The sale of these carbon credits has triple bottom-line benefits; it helps wildlife, local people, and fights climate change,” said Todd Stevens, Executive Director of Global Initiatives at the Wildlife Conservation Society. Stevens clearly hasn’t considered what happens when carbon credits are sold. Of course the Makira forest should be protected, but the sale of carbon credits ensures that somewhere else emissions will continue, thus cancelling out any reduction in Makira.

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 NOT Women’s Empowerment!!

Sign the petition here.

As women and our allies, please add your name and/or your organization’s support to the letter below to voice your opposition to the World Bank’s, the United Nations’ and the State of California’s false solutions to climate change, which include carbon trading, carbon offsets, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+).

We demand that the World Bank, the United Nations and the State of California reject these market-based, land grabbing false solutions to climate change, which are bad for the planet, violate the rights of Indigenous Women, children and youth, do not protect forests and increase violence and abuses against Indigenous and local communities.

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Outraged by the rampant land grabs and neocolonialism of REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest degradation), Africans at the World Social Forum in Tunisia took the historic decision to launch the No REDD in Africa Network and join the global movement against REDD.

REDD+ is a carbon offset mechanism whereby industrialized Northern countries use forests, agriculture, soils and even water as sponges for their pollution instead of reducing greenhouse gas emissions at source.

“REDD is no longer just a false solution but a new form of colonialism,” denounced Nnimmo Bassey, Alternative Nobel Prize Laureate, former Executive Director of ERA/Friends of the Earth Nigeria. “In Africa, REDD+ is emerging as a new form of colonialism, economic subjugation and a driver of land grabs so massive that they may constitute a continent grab. We launch the No REDD in Africa Network to defend the continent from carbon colonialism.”

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