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august: friends of the earth campaigners prepare for climate action

Just prior to the UN climate talks held in Accra, Ghana in August 2008, 17 climate, forests and economic justice campaigners from Friends of the Earth groups around the world came together to take part in a highly successfully and participatory two-day workshop. The workshop was largely focused on REDD, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, negotiations taking place within the United Nations for the inclusion of forests in carbon markets.
the UN climate talks in AccraParticipants worked on a lobby briefing for key demands for the talks. This helped them to lobby during the UN talks, and served as strong basis for further policy development in the federation. The discussions also contributed to a major Friends of the Earth International report on REDD, released at the Climate Summit in Poznan in December 2008.


At the FoEI workshop, campaigners discussed the possible implications of REDD, and concluded that the inclusion of forests in carbon markets would enable developed countries to avoid real carbon emissions reductions at home. Furthermore, they cautioned that any proposal that increases the financial value of forests may trigger a vast increase in land rights abuse. This could mean a rapid expansion of state or corporate control over forests without regard to the rights of Indigenous Peoples and other forest-dependent communities.


Indigenous Peoples put forward similar concerns in their official statements at the UN meeting. FoEI campaigners shared some of the outcomes of our skill share with the Indigenous Peoples present, allowing us  to find common ground and strengthen our ties with indigenous organizations and representatives.


Campaigners also met with country delegates from their regions, some for the first time, and discussed our concerns about the direction of the talks. This relationship building has since continued at the international and national levels. Furthermore, less experienced campaigners were able to develop their capacity by learning from our more experienced lobbyists.


Despite the climate talks only being an inter-sessional, which are often not considered “media-worthy”, FoEI  managed to get extensive media coverage:


the UN climate talks in Accra - group photo



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