FOREST CAMPAIGNERS REJECT PRINCE CHARLES’ RAINFOREST SPECULATION PLANS

For Immediate Release – 1 April, 2009

The Global Forest Coalition, a worldwide network of environmental organizations and Indigenous Peoples Organizations, have publicly rejected the plans of the Prince of Wales to finance rainforest protection with a system of bonds that are to be paid back with funding derived from carbon markets. The Prince launched his idea at a meeting with G20 Heads of State in St. James Palace today.

“It appears that the Prince has not read any newspapers in the past year,” responded Dr. Miguel Lovera, the chairperson of the Global Forest Coalition. “Carbon markets have proven to be a highly unreliable source of funding for environmental protection. The last thing forests and forest peoples need is yet another form of financial speculation.”

The members of the Global Forest Coalition are greatly concerned about the negative impacts the inclusion of forests in carbon markets will have on Indigenous Peoples and other forest dependant peoples.

Already the UN’s newest market based mechanism for using forests as carbon offsets, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), has been controversial due to its predicted impacts on forests and Indigenous Peoples’ rights. [1]

“Indigenous Peoples have proven to be capable of conserving and restoring their forests; but since we do not destroy forests, we will not be able to sell projects to reduce deforestation on the carbon market,” states Marcial Arias, policy advisor of the International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forest and Latin American Indigenous peoples’ focal point of the Global Forest Coalition, who is attending the climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany [2] this week. “Instead, we are already seeing how Indigenous Peoples are being forcibly displaced from their land by carbon traders who want to use their lands to establish monoculture tree plantations.”

Mr. Arias further added that Indigenous Peoples in developing nations have deliberately been selected to become part of the carbon market (developing nations are excluded from many of the schemes) because the legal protection and land appeal mechanisms in those countries are less likely to interfere with the development of the market based mechanisms.

Global Forest Coalition supports the position of the participants in the UK Climate Camp, [3] who are in the streets of London to oppose carbon markets. “Carbon markets favour a handful of polluters only.  In terms of mitigating climate change, carbon markets have proven to be a waste of time and money. The climate crisis is escalating so rapidly that we need both an immediate halt to deforestation AND a clear commitment of the developed country members of the G20 to take the lead and commit to the necessary reduction of at least 80% in their greenhouse gas emissions–with no carbon offsets,” adds Anne Petermann, North American focal point for the Global Forest Coalition and executive director of Global Justice Ecology Project.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Miguel Lovera: (in Asunción, Paraguay): +595-991-216536
Marcial Arias (in Bonn, Germany): +507-67807457
Anne Petermann (in Vermont, U.S.): +1-802-482-2689 (office) +1-802-578-0477 (mobile)

NOTES:

[1]  “Protest Manifests as Indigenous Rights are opposed by U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand at UN Climate Conference” www.globaljusticeecology.org/connections.php?ID

[2] The ‘Bonn Climate Change Talks’  is the first of three planned negotiating sessions before the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Conference Of the Parties 15, in Copenhagen this December. www.unfccc.int/meetings/intersessional/bonn_09/items/4753.php

[3] www.climatecamp.org.uk/home
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