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The story of REDD: a real solution to deforestation?

In December 2008, while following the climate negotiations in Poznan, I had raised a REDD alarm in a short article on how a new financial scheme to ‘protect’ forests was actually going to do more harm than good.  REDD stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, which basically means that big polluters want to keep polluting but pay their sins off by giving some forest rich governments and project developpers in the South money to stop cutting their forests. In the original idea agreed upon in Bali, during climate negotiations a year earlier, it was suggested to give most of that money to the 1 out of 6 people in the world that live from the forest. Now it looks like there will not be much left to give them, once the traders, consultants, governments and project developers have taken their chunck of the new money. It also looks like there will be no distinction between an ancient forest rich in biodiversity or a fenced off tree plantation. Most of all, it is unlikely to help in the fight against human made climate change.

So here we are in 2012, with REDD projects starting to create carbon permits for the rich to keep polluting at the same rate as usual, now with the extra damage of putting fences around forests used by indigenous peoples for as long as they can remember. Already, civil society all over the globe is up in arms against this insulting ‘solution’ to our climate change problem. A coalition of civil society organisations now made this 6 minute video that explains the issue in a way that is difficult to misunderstand. The problem is not so much the deforestation in the Amazon, but blind consumers and greedy bankers that are now creating a new bubble market at the expense of local communities. Disguised as a solution, we are in effect creating a second injustice upon the existing injustice of climate change. Watch the video and do whatever you can to stop this madness.

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