By Stephen Leahy*
MONTPELLIER, France, Apr 7, 2010 (Tierramérica)
Billions of dollars are being mobilised to protect and increase the world’s forests under a climate protection mechanism known as REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation). But many experts are unsure that it will work, and some fear it could end in disaster.
According to Anne Larson, who works in Nicaragua as an associate at the Indonesia-based Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), “REDD presents lots of risks.”
“Most countries are simply not ready. They do not have policies to protect the rights of local and indigenous peoples, to determine land tenure or even work out who owns the ‘carbon rights’ to a forest,” Larson told participants at an international conference on smallholder and community forestry in Montpellier, France, in late March.
Under the REDD initiative, richer countries would pay to maintain forests in tropical regions to offset their own carbon emissions. Carbon dioxide from human activities is one of the main gases that produce the greenhouse effect.
The wealthy countries would be granted “carbon credits” towards achieving their carbon reduction commitments to combat climate change. Continue reading