Making Global Rainforest Preserves Pay

An end to primary ancient rainforest loggingThe Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has become the latest tropical rainforest rich, yet materially poor, nation to embrace payments for “avoided deforestation”. The DRC joins Ecuador [more | more2] and Papua New Guinea (PNG) in making substantive offers to the international community to protect (note, not conserve or sustainabiy manage, but preserve intact) large areas of primary rainforests in exchange for payments which may include carbon market credits, development grants and/or debt relief.
A workable solution to tropical rainforest destruction and diminishment is within reach, and protecting the world's last large ancient primary forests is also a relatively easy way to dramatically and quickly cut back on carbon emissions (~25% of which are from land conversion including deforestation and diminishment). Whether this opportunity to fully protect the world's remaining ancient and holy primary forest temples — critically essential for planetary operation and human well-being — is seized upon depends upon the details of course. The main potential obstacles I see in poorly designed payments for maintaining ancient forests as carbon sinks includes primarily a concern that there will be allowances for “well managed” forestry in these carbon sinks. Any industrial development, from certified forestry to hydroelectric dams to utility lines would need to be absolutely banned. Essentially this would require shutting down the industrial scaled ancient primary forest logging business; and what of the World Bank's, WWF's and Greenpeace's desire to see more certified logging?


The world has paid trillions of dollars to fight the threat of terrorism, my other main concern is that the world's leaders are so ecologically challenged that they do not see what a deal it is to pay a few billion a year to a country to keep their terrestrial ecosystem component of the Earth's biosphere intact. The rich nations can easily afford to pay for avoided deforestation; their wisdom, political will and sense of urgency is what is in question. Other concerns include distribution of the proceeds, ensuring that local peoples forgoing industrial rainforest development are compensated along with meeting the need for government revenues. And a strict requirement that local people's are consulted and allowed to continue their traditional small scale activities. Apparently the World Bank is working on a test fund of limited means to pay countries to maintain their forests for climate benefits [more] primarily. It is crucial that conservationists are wary of those like the Bank and large environmental groups with other agendas, in this case accessing raw materials for the global economy and serving as apologists for the timber mafia.
Simply, humanity must establish such global ecological reserves to survive. And for the first time the ones with the rainforests agree that for the right price, they will keep their forests standing. Let's take them up on the offer!

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11 Responses

  1. Mary Rogers says:

    As a further step in the direction of carbon trading financial benefits to developing countries with large tracts of rainforests, could the idea of “water trading” benefits be developed? I live in Australia where our water storage is at a critical low, and face big increases in the costs of our water, to say nothing of running out of water in the future if weather patterns continue.
    What research is there to compliment this idea on global rain fall patterns and the corellation to global rainforest mass?
    yours
    Mary

  2. Cyril Pinso says:

    Dear Sir,
    Very many thanks for your collection of articles in “avoided deforestation” as one practical solution to mitigate climate change. The ultimate approach should be market driven to pay for the “loss of income” in countries that still has huge swath of forests in the tropical region.
    I will be very grateful for a continuing dialogue in this subject matter.
    With best wishes. Cyril Pinso.

  3. Ben says:

    I agree entirely. Have a look at the Global Canopy Project website.
    Best wishes, Ben

  4. Agnes Witter says:

    I have advocated such a plan for years. However, allowing the World Bank or even the U.N. for that matter leaves me uneasy. Payments to Government officials in developing countries often never reach the people that are most affected by good intentioned initiatives. Even carbon credits given, can be sold to benefit the officials rather than the people. The only way to make this idea successful is to remove the political players by establishing a non-profit to distribute funds directly to the people through a trusted representative of their choice. Funds could also be used to provide tangible needs such as constructing solar arrays to produce electricity, waterless toilets for sanitation, wells and/or piplines for clean drinking water and instructions on how to farm land without destroying its fertility and helping displaced loggers develop new forms of income producing businesses.

  5. Eva Ries says:

    Trees were replanted all over Africa, and behold: species that vanished return; weather stabilized; erosion minimized; air quality improved; human population health improved…the balance of nature was closer to being restored. Trees are SUPPOSED to be part of the environment, and humans need to see the big picture, not the “it's cheap and it fixes my problem for today” picture.

  6. Robert says:

    thanks again for your very useful work.
    “The DRC joins Ecuador and Papua New Guinea (PNG) in making substantive offers to the international community to protect (note, not conserve or sustainabiy manage, but preserve intact) large areas of primary rainforests in exchange for payments which may include carbon market credits, development grants and/or debt relief.”
    an additional debt/$ for forest preservation agreement was signed between germany and indonesia May 2nd.
    robert jereski
    p.s. what's up w/greenpeace and other “eco groups”!?

  7. Hans Bavinck says:

    What good news. It's about time the West recognized the folly of its stance during the Biodiversity Convention, when tropical countries asked for help to preserve their forests and the developed nations selfishly answered, “none of our business”. As well as with the Kyoto Protocol, when they favored expensive technologies that would keep the money at home rather than finance cheap forest preservation abroad. How much has been lost, and predictably so, because of this selfishness. Apparently our “leaders” have come to the conclusion that we've shot ourselves in the foot often enough for us to wake up at last.
    Nevertheless, good news, and thank you EcoInternet for your role in furthering awareness.

  8. Cyril Pinso says:

    Dear Dr. Barry,
    On the issue of “avoided deforestation”, which has now gained momentum with other nations joining in the bandwagon first proposed by PNG, how can your set up help snowball this logical approach to reduce CO2 emissions, from now on to December 2007 and make this case be of great significance, when the UNFCCC, Conference of Parties (COPs) are meeting again in Bali, RI? Could you and others mobilize enough publicity as well as supporting empirical data to make a case in Bali?
    I am extremely very happy that Samling's case is put on hold. I propose that a Trust body should buy the forest concesssin in Guyana and use this particular forest as a carbon sink.
    Please share with me your opinion.
    Best regards.
    Cyril Pinso.

  9. jan says:

    what this group is doing is enlightening people in the west to what is actually happening in places like congo. this is an invaluable service. uk PM brown namechecked congo and a paltry

  10. Matt Schwoebel says:

    We desperately need to get Peru and other south American countries on the same page with this. The forest there are in great threat of being lost forever as hydrocarbon companies, loggers, and miners plow their way into their deepest corners. Peru expresses their only reason for allowing this is to better their national economy. It seems at least they may be interested in such a program if it could suit their economical interests. With areas where the largest number of butterfly species living on the planet exist, we can't afford to lose these areas. Companies like American Hunt Oil don't seem to want to abide by proper standards, so time to go above their heads. Keep up the great work.

  11. I have become extremely concerned about the very serious and “fatal” problems that are facing the world by the destruction of it's forests and the animals that live there, I too had thought that one way of halting this killing would be to purchase large tracts of untouched forest, and would like to know if plans are afoot to encourage multi national governmental co-operation and how individuals worldwide can get involved, by either/or writing to Governments of the countries involved, (contacts please) and where ordinary people such as I can help in a small financial way, if millions of people around the globe were to pay even as low as 1 dollar or 1 pound etc, just think how much that could come too?

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