REDD and Zero Deforestation Pledges

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) has become the dominant international forest policy. Variations of REDD+ include Nature-Based Solutions and corporate pledges to achieve Zero Net Deforestation. In reality, though, deforestation continues, polluting companies use REDD+ offsets to avoid reducing their fossil fuel emissions, and zero-net deforestation pledges allow forests to be cleared in one area as long as an “equivalent” area is restored elsewhere.

A key tactic for the giant pulp producer, Suzano S.A, to keep expanding its industrial eucalyptus plantations in Brazil, is to market itself as a company that practices “conservation” and “restoration.” This conceals its disastrous track record related to forest and forest-dwelling populations.

This editorial aims to raise a high alert with regard to the corporate agendas that dominate international forest-related processes, which appear to be entering new phases. The decisions taken have very real impacts on forest communities.

Oil multinational Shell claims that it is possible that consumers drive “carbon neutral”, simply by paying extra for offsetting their emissions - planting trees or investing in existing forest areas elsewhere. But what is happening in those areas elsewhere? (Available in Indonesian).

Language is never neutral. Certain concepts have historically been used to dominate people and territories. This article highlights concepts that are usually presented in a positive light but that actually serve economic interests that harm forests and communities.

Climatology’s understanding of climate is extremely biased and exclusionary, and is only one particular view. Building better alliances around climate action means recognizing that there are ongoing conflicts and tensions among different conceptions of what climate is.

The UN and conservation industry discourse and propaganda over REDD+ changed to a new forest conservation fad at the UN climate negotiations in December: Nature-Based-Solutions. Another false solution that distracts from the urgent task to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

This is good news for forests, forest peoples and the climate because the IFC proposal aimed at subsidizing a carbon market for private sector REDD+ project credits for which there is neither demand nor justification.

More than one hundred organisations signed this open letter to members of the Green Climate Fund Board. The Board will be meeting from 12 to 14 November 2019, and will decide on a number of funding requests related to REDD+.

A logic that violates indigenous and traditional peoples’ rights while facilitating further deforestation. A compilation of articles from the World Rainforest Movement Bulletin (WRM). October 2019