Carbon Markets for Rainforest Protection, But First Tame the Logging Beast

Here is a news article entitled “How to tame the logging beast” I wrote in today's Independent (UK) in response to proposals to harness carbon markets for rainforest protection. I was asked to write the piece in response to proposals to be made at the current Montreal climate meetings by the Papua New Guinea government and others. My basic point is that carbon trading and other payments to rainforest countries to promote rainforest protection are admirable and overdue. However, given the scope of the legal and illegal logging industries in the world's remaining large forest wildlands, the continued existence of these carbon stores are far from assured unless dramatic efforts to tame logging are made immediately. My article below is currently linked as the lead article on the Independent's web site at http://www.independent.co.uk/ . The Independent is carrying out some of the best, ground-breaking environmental journalism on a regular basis at http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/ .

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1 Response

  1. Chris says:

    Hi Glen,
    As The Independent has just published your excellent article about carbon markets for rainforest protection, I thought you should take a look at the article below from the Toronto Star.
    I can't help feeling there's a real danger of a similar situation arising just about anywhere in the Third World where forests are to be protected for purposes of carbon trading. It seems to me that there is a huge possibility of corruption of the process by government officials and rich landowners and, more tragically, severe exploitation of small farmers and hunter/gatherers as they are moved off their land so that it can be “protected”.
    Another thing to consider is that unless there is very careful independent oversight of the protection-for-credit process with frequent and virtually perpetual monitoring of the state of the protected forests, the whole thing could end up being a massive boondoggle. The only thing that those looking to buy carbon credits will care about is getting the credits at the outset. If the forests that are protected to create those credits are later found to be in ecological shreds, will the country or company that bought the credits then lose them or be required to do something about the state of said forests? Not bloody likely!
    I hope the fund-raising is going well. If I read your stats right, only 176 people have contributed to the recent campaign (and since I gave twice, perhaps it was actually only 175). Not very encouraging, but hang in there! I assume you'll be keeping us all informed of the funding situation.
    Regards,
    Chris

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