Bank pushes ahead on forest carbon market

29 September 2008

In July, the Bank named the first 14 countries for the controversial Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF, see Update 60): six in Africa (DRC, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar); five in Latin America (Bolivia, Costa Rica, Guyana, Mexico, Panama); and three in Asia (Nepal, Lao PDR, and Vietnam). The 14 countries will pilot programmes aimed at “reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation” (REDD). Indonesia had refused participation in the scheme, and Brazil did not apply.

Meanwhile indigenous peoples’ groups and NGOS have continued to raise serious concerns about the current design and concept of REDD and are calling for greater recognition and protection for basic human rights in the profusion of REDD initiatives.

The UN has also jumped on the band-wagon, and is planning a cross-agency initiative on readiness for REDD (UN-REDD). Civil society groups are concerned that the proposals do not adequately cover compliance to existing UN human rights obligations.

July saw the release of the International Institute for Environment and Development’s report on the Bank’s idea for a Global Forest Partnership. The partnership is supposed to reduce deforestation and increase sustainability by linking different forest initiatives under one umbrella. A majority of the 600 surveyed forest experts but suggested the Bank take a more hands off approach, allowing an alliance of smaller groups to emerge from the bottom up.