Turning Forests Into Carbon Profits To Protect The Global Climate?

This is now rapidly underway under the World Bank’s Global Forest Carbon Partnership — with all issues cited here unresolved.

Stephen Leahy, International Environmental Journalist

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…

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