World Bank Hands off Forests
Friends of the Earth International
World Rainforest Movement
Global Forest Coalition
December 10, 2007
'WORLD BANK HANDS OFF FORESTS'
BALI (INDONESIA), Dec. 10, 2007 – Environmental groups at the United Nations climate talks in Bali today urged governments to reject a new World Bank initiative promoting the inclusion of forests in carbon markets.
The World Bank initiative, known as the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) is set to be launched on Tuesday 11th December in Bali as part of the discussions on ‘Reducing Emissions through Deforestation in Developing countries’ (REDD).
The initiative, which would allow tropical forests to be included in carbon offsetting schemes, fails to combat climate change, the groups said, because it allows industrialised countries and companies to buy their way out of emissions' reductions.
Between 18-20 percent of annual global carbon emissions are caused by deforestation, and Indonesia is the world's third largest greenhouse gas emitter as a result of deforestation.
The World Bank has a particularly appalling track record in relation to funding forests and carbon projects, not least because it provides substantial funding to oil, gas and mining projects; and as a broker, has a vested interest in promoting carbon trading. Its planned Forest Carbon Partnership Facility would have serious negative social and environmental impacts, the groups said.
Torry Kuswardhono, Energy Campaigner at Friends of the Earth Indonesia (WALHI): said:
"Carbon offsetting is extremely unfair. Forests provide livelihoods for over one billion Indigenous and other forests peoples. Wealthy companies and countries are able to buy the right to continue to pollute, while poor communities in developing countries can find themselves locked into unfavourable, long-term commercial contracts over forest management".
Sandy Gauntlett, Pacific focal point of the Global Forest Coalition and chairman of the Pacific Indigenous Peoples Environment Coalition said:
"Indigenous Peoples and local communities will bear the real costs of forest-related climate mitigation projects based on carbon finance because they will increase the pressure on their lands and territories and undermine land rights claims. With this proposal, the World Bank is violating the principle of Prior Informed Consent, which is enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous Peoples should not just be consulted on this facility. Without their full and prior informed consent this facility should be disbanded."
World Rainforest Movement spokesperson Ana Filipini said :
"Carbon finance mechanisms in developing countries result in forests being transferred or sold off to large corporations who hope to acquire profitable ‘carbon credits’ associated with those forests at some point in the future. The current proposals are set to reward logging and palm oil corporations and countries with high deforestation rates whilst undermining Indigenous Peoples' and other forest-dependent communities' rights, in particular those of women."
Some of the genuine and urgent measures needed to address the deforestation problem include:
1) Giving the highest priority to halting the development, production and trade of agrofuels, and suspend all targets and other incentives, including subsidies, carbon offsets and public and private finance related to the development and production of agrofuels.
2) Keeping tropical forests out of carbon finance mechanisms, which are unpredictable, inequitable and discourage the reduction of emissions at source. This includes keeping forests out of the Clean Development
Mechanism and all carbon trading initiatives; and rejecting the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF).
3) Redirect the very substantial amounts of public funds, tax exemptions and other forms of subsidies currently provided to the fossil fuel and agrofuels industries, into avoided deforestation assistance funds, the effective promotion of public transport and the development of solar, wind, geothermal, wave and energy efficiency industries.
4) Strengthen weak forest conservation policies and institutions, encouraging bans or moratoria on industrial logging and forest conversion, and addressing corruption and lack of enforcement.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Joseph Zacune, Friends of the Earth International climate coordinator,Indonesian mobile number +62.813.3896995 (dec 1-14 only)
Sandy Gauntlett, Oceania focal point, Global Forest Coalition andchairperson of the Pacific Indigenous Peoples Environment Coalition, +62-
813-38938574 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Torry Kuswardhono, Energy Campaigner, Friends of the Earth Indonesia (WALHI): +62- 811383270 or email email@example.com
Fay, media officer, WALHI (Friends of the Earth Indonesia) , Indonesianmobile number +62 815 8070717