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You are here: Home / Media / Archive / 2000 / 20_nov_land_use


20 november 2000

how much wood would a wood wangle chuck?

forest activists fear tree plantations scam

Friends of the Earth International and other Global Forest Coalition members have revealed the a scam at the heart of negotiations on Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF). Last weekend's negotiations saw the removal of eligibility criteria for sinks projects. Countries could implement destructive projects like large monoculture tree plantations as part of their climate strategies.

Supported by Indigenous Peoples Organizations, FoEI rejects treating forest conservation and other biomass-related activities as counting towards Kyoto targets. Carbon storage in trees and other biomass is temporary. These projects are far riskier than energy efficiency measures and the introduction of renewable energies.

"If current proposals to include LULUCF activities are accepted, industrialized countries could meet their Kyoto obligations through the development of fast-growing plantations and other harmful sinks projects." says Simone Lovera, coordinator of the FoEI Forest Program. "The Kyoto agreement would be fatally undermined."

Meanwhile forest conservation is now unlikely as an option under the Kyoto Protocol. Last weekend, it emerged that any LULUCF activities included under the Clean Development Mechanism (set up to implement projects in developing countries) would be restricted to reforestation and afforestation projects.

"Countries like Indonesia could continue destroying their rich rainforests while earning credits and money for tree plantation development" says Ulfa Hidayati of the RMI Institute for Forest and the Environment in Indonesia.

It also emerged at the weekend that countries like Canada won't wait for a biome-based definition of forests. If their proposals are accepted, clear cutting and replacement of old-growth forests by monoculture tree plantations will no longer be seen as deforestation. Because tree plantations absorb carbon faster than standing forests, countries would replace existing forests and other ecosystems with fast-growing eucalyptus and pine plantations. Monoculture tree plantations damage biodiversity (and cause other environmental problems) and provoke social conflict.

"Indigenous Peoples and local communities in countries like Malaysia know that plantations are worse than large scale logging operations, because plantations companies not only destroy the forest, they also take their lands, thus destroying their livelihoods" says Ricardo Carrere of the World Rainforest Movement.

"Companies like Monsanto are implementing hundreds of field trials of genetically engineered fast-growing trees that will lead to increased herbicide use and more environmental and social havoc", according to Miguel Lovera, the coordinator of the Global Forest Coalition.

FoEI and other forest groups want climate negotiators to adopt a biome-based definition of forests, excluding large scale tree monocrops and removing LULUCF activities from the Clean Development Mechanism and article 3.4.

For further infomation please contact:

Ian Willmore: 0044 7887 641344 (FoEI)

Simone Lovera: 06 53614586 (FoE Paraguay)





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