The Conference of the Parties (COP4) of the Climate Change Convention will be meeting during the first two weeks of November in Buenos Aires. Much of the discussion will concentrate on the role of forests as carbon sinks and many negotiations will include deals between Northern and Southern countries on how to trade emissions and sinks: we emit, you sink.
Bulletin Issue 16 – October 1998
CONTRIBUTION TO THE DEBATE
27 October 1998The Kyoto Protocol, agreed in December 1997, has been criticised for its market-oriented approach, since it tends to establish a trading system to buy and sell carbon emissions. Tree plantations have gained a major role in relation to this issue because of their supposed condition of carbon sinks. The Protocol established that afforestation is one of the activities that Annex I countries can undertake to achieve their “quantified emission limitation and reduction commitments” for greenhouse effect gases (Art. 2).
27 October 1998Deforestation and forest degradation worldwide have been and are cause of concern. Rates of loss in tropical as well as in temperate and boreal areas are alarming. All tropical forests have suffered an increase in the rate of deforestation, while the few remaining primary temperate forests, as well as boreal forests are under severe threat.
27 October 1998Framework Convention on Climate Change: Article 1.7. “Reservoir” means a component or components of the climate system where a greenhouse gas or a precursor of a greenhouse gas is stored Article 1.8 “Sink” means any process, activity or mechanism which removes a greenhouse gas, an aerosol or a precursor of a greenhouse gas from the athmosphere
WRM GENERAL ACTIVITIES
27 October 1998The WRM is deeply concerned about the direction in which the climate change negotiations seem to be leading, particularly after the Kyoto Protocol. A great number of Northern governments appear to be currently more concerned about seeking to buy their way out of their responsibilities to the global environment --particularly through the Clean Development Mechanism-- instead of implementing actions to effectively counter the greenhouse effect. On the other hand, many Southern governments seem to be equally interested in such approach, and eager to sell their environmental services at the best price possible.
27 October 1998On October 2 the WRM International Secretariat addressed the Interamerican Commission for Human Rights, supporting the document sent to this international organization by CEJIL (Centre for Justice and International Law) and CIMI, denouncing the Brazilian government for ignoring the Tupinikim and Guarani indigenous peoples land rights and demanding the inmediate filing of the Federal police investigation against the Dutch missionary Winfried Overbeek.
27 October 1998Juan Pablo Orrego, Chilean anthropologist and ecologist, member of the NGO GABB (Grupo de Acción por el Bio Bio), received the 1998 prize from the Norvegian organization Right Livelihood Foundation for his permanent defence of the Bio Bio watershed and the Pewenche indigenous peoples against hydrolelectric projects in the VIII and IX Regions in southern Chile. The award –known as the Alternative Nobel Prize- is confered to people and organizations distinguished by their actions for world environment and peace.
27 October 1998An action alert for the Costa Rican mangroves launched by the WRM International Secretariat on October 13 –following a request from Mangrove Action Project (MAP) -contributed to leave unchanged the text of the national law that protects these rich ecosystems. The Government had proposed the Parliament to introduce some modifications in the law, that would have opened up these protected areas to the shrimp farm expansion.
27 October 1998In its chapter related to forests, “Life out of Bounds” deals with the menacing trend of tree monocultures for biodiversity. Those interested in purchasing the book, please address the Worldwatch Institute's website <www.worldwatch.org>, or call the Institute directly, at (U.S. dial) 800-555-2028, or the online bookseller amazon.com. Chris Bright, “Life Out of Bounds: Bioinvasion in a Borderless World” (New York: WW Norton, 1998). Issued as a part of the Worldwatch Environmental Alert Series. 288 pages; $13.00.