Cancun, 29 November 2010 – Dangerous forest projects are being established in tropical rainforest countries, in anticipation of agreement on reducing deforestation at the UN climate talks, a new Friends of the Earth International report shows today. The report comes on the first day of the UN climate talks.

The Friends of the Earth report – “REDD: the Realities in Black and White” – reveals that new projects being readied in expectation of an agreement on “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries” (REDD) are set to do more harm than good.

The case studies from Friends of the Earth member groups around the world clearly show that indigenous peoples and local communities are being marginalised in the development of these schemes. Meanwhile corporations and major investors are intent on reaping huge financial rewards at the cost of local communities. Large transnational corporations including BP, Shell and energy companies are honing in on REDD as a new business opportunity.

Many of the projects on the ground and most of the proposals in the UN talks link REDD to carbon markets. This would also allow the privatisation of forests to generate carbon credits so that rich industrialised countries could buy the right to pollute.

Furthermore, these pilot projects and a weak UN definition of forests could allow continued logging and the replacement of old growth natural forests with industrial tree plantations.

Friends of the Earth International Climate Justice Program Coordinator Joseph Zacune said:

“Governments are promoting dangerous proposals on forests through the UN climate talks which would imperil communities and the environment. These case studies show that a race is underway by corporate investors to profit from forestry schemes which will do nothing to reduce emissions and would harm local communities.”


1. The Friends of the Earth International report launch coincides with the first day of the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP 16) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be meeting in Cancún, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December 2010.

2. The report is available in English, Spanish, French (click language above) and also Portuguese, here: REDD: as realidades em branco e preto.

4. For interviews please contact:

Joseph Zacune + 44 7967877593 (UK mobile)

Isaac Rojas, Friends of the Earth International Forest and Biodiversity program coordinator + 52 1 998 108 0339 (Mexican mobile)