This publication summarizes the problems identified in 14 REDD projects based on published field reports. All of the cases reveal a series of structural characteristics that undermine the rights of forests peoples and fail to address the crises of deforestation and climate change.
The cases demonstrate that local communities did not have the option as to whether or not they gave their consent to the REDD project. In many cases as well, the information they were given was biased or incomplete. In the cases where REDD projects were presented to the communities, the project promoters made many promises of benefits and jobs in exchange for the community’s acceptance of the project. What the communities got instead of the promised benefits, however, were harassment, restrictions on the use of the territories on which they depend for their livelihoods, and blame for causing deforestation and climate change. In almost none of the examples were the communities informed that the product generated through REDD projects – carbon credits – would be sold to polluters in the industrialized countries, including some of the biggest corporations involved in fossil fuel extraction. Peasant agriculture, particularly shifting cultivation, is vilified in most REDD projects as a cause of deforestation, while the main causes of deforestation – oil, gas and coal extraction, mining, large-scale infrastructure projects, mega-dams, industrial logging and agribusiness – are neither mentioned nor addressed in REDD initiatives. REDD has also failed to secure the rights of communities to their territories, as demonstrated by the 14 examples used.
If REDD and its variations like Blue REDD, Landscape REDD and others are incorporated in future climate agreements, it will be an unprecedented disaster. It is time for governments to stop playing this game and start looking at real measures that address the true causes of deforestation and climate change.
The publication REDD: A Gallery of Conflicts, Contradictions and Lies is available at: http://wrm.org.uy/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/REDD-A_Gallery_of_Conflict_Contradictions_Lies.pdf