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Media Advisory/Press Briefing
– 7 October 2008 –

Global Forest Coalition critiques unreliability of Market-based Conservation Mechanisms

Barcelona, Spain–As the international financial crisis grows and markets become more unstable, Global Forest Coalition will be involved in several events highlighting the unreliability of market-based mechanisms as a possible source of funding for biodiversity conservation this week at the IUCN World Congress. Market-based mechanisms are often seen as solutions to the lack of funding for public conservation, but they are false solutions.

The Global Forest Coalition is comprised of a large number of Indigenous Peoples Organizations and NGOs from six continents. At the World Conservation Congress, it will release a major report featuring case studies from India, Costa Rica, South Africa, Paraguay and Colombia about the impact of market-based conservation mechanisms like ecotourism, forest certification and carbon trade on Indigenous Peoples, local communities and women. These impacts are particularly important in light of the proposal by some countries to include forest conservation into the global carbon market.

Please save these dates and times:

Thursday 9 October–0930 -1000   GFC Press Conference for New Report Launch/Life as Commerce: the Impact of Market-based Conservation. [Main Press conference room]  The report counters biodiversity conservation through economists’ eyes.  Attempting to squeeze something as holistic as global biodiversity into the structured and relatively rigid framework of the market was always going to be difficult. According to the report, the commodification, privatization and sale of so-called “environmental services” does not only raise a large number practical and ethical concerns, it also might lead to serious negative social impacts on economically marginal groups in society like Indigenous Peoples and women.  The current economic crisis has also shown the unreliability of global markets as a potential funding source.

Related events include:

Tuesday 7 October–14:30 – 1600 Knowledge Cafe on Effective Forest Policies: Implementing the CBD vs REDD. The event will start with four brief presentations on the initial results of the independent monitoring initiative of the Global Forest Coalition. Within the framework of this initiative 22 civil society organizations in 22 different countries have elaborated an independent monitoring report on the implementation of the Convention on Biodiversity forest work program in their country. The discussion will focus on whether the new plans to incorporate forests into global carbon markets will strengthen or undermine the CBD as the main legally binding instrument dealing with forest biodiversity.  [Room 114/5]

Wednesday 8 October–18:30 – 20: 00 The Life as Commerce event is an Aliance workshop. The Aliance workshop will provide a space to share information, knowledge and perspectives on market-based conservation mechanisms and the impact these mechanisms have on the rights and biodiversity governance systems of local communities and Indigenous peoples. The event will have the format of a peoples tribunal and will be co-organized with other Indigenous Peoples Organizations and NGOs.  [CCIB Poble]


Saturday 11 October–Biocultural Diversity booth 0900-1100 [Stand #: E-026/Exhibition Hall: Congress Venue (CCIB)/Area: 3/Floor Number: PO (ground floor)


Simone Lovera, GFC managing coordinator mobile +31 6 15345379
Orin Langelle, GFC media coordinator mobile +34 6 71253660