Press Release / Oct. 3, 2009

REDD takes a turn for the worst at Bangkok meeting

Bangkok ­- Today, the UNFCCC released new consolidated text for REDD, the part of the treaty intended to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation. With only two weeks of negotiations left before Copenhagen, this text will profoundly influence the shape of the final agreement, determining whether or not we will actually succeed in reducing the 25 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions that result from the continuing destruction of the world's tropical forests and peatlands.
The following are statements from members of the Ecosystems Climate Alliance
"The REDD process is doing precisely what it was created not to do," said Dr. Rosalind Reeve of Global Witness. "It's turning into the biggest subsidy ever for the logging industry and putting us on the road to forest destruction."
"The text released today contains no explicit wording to protect intact natural forests," said Peg Putt, of the Wilderness Society. "People around the world are expecting REDD monies to protect tropical forests, not destroy them; and to reduce emissions, not increase them."
"To restore the original intent of REDD, parties must add a clear definition of forests that does not allow for the conversion of rainforests and peatlands to plantations," said Bill Barclay of Rainforest Action Network. "We have to get REDD right if Copenhagen is going to succeed in reducing global emissions. This language fails that test."
"There's no wording assuring Indigenous rights," said Nils Hermann Ranum of Rainforest Foundation Norway. "Rather, the proposals here undermine all the battles of Indigenous peoples for the respect of their rights and threaten all the rights guaranteed to them under existing international agreements."
A point-by-point analysis will be available from ECA on Monday, on request.

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Contact: Don Lehr + 66 08 255 455 829; Margaret Swink +1 415 720 0080

Read Global Witness' latest briefing on REDD

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The Ecosystems Climate Alliance (ECA) is an alliance of environment and social NGOs committed to keeping natural terrestrial ecosystems intact and their carbon out of the atmosphere, in an equitable and transparent way that respects the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities. ECA recognises that avoiding emissions of terrestrial carbon stored in the soils and biomass of forests, peatlands and wetlands represents the largest potential single opportunity for cost-effective greenhouse gas mitigation. ECA advocates climate, forest and land use policies to give strong, equitable, transparent and positive incentives free of perversities for avoiding the degradation of terrestrial carbon stores and for rehabilitating degraded land, supported by effective forest governance, robust monitoring and demand-side policies to ensure meaningful outcomes. ECA comprises Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), Global Witness, Humane Society International, Rainforest Action Network, Rainforest Foundation Norway, The Rainforest Foundation U.K., Wetlands International and The Wilderness Society.