CANCUN, MEXICO, 9 December 2010 – Draft texts on REDD (Reducing Emissions for Deforestation and Degradation) currently on the table don’t ensure forest conservation and look at forests only as carbon storage. They do not safeguard the rights of Indigenous People nor do they ensure the protection of natural forests.

The texts are poised to allow wealthy countries to use forest carbon credits to escape their emissions reductions obligations. Friends of the Earth International calls on governments in Cancún to agree on a mechanism that protects forests and ensures social and environmental safeguards. In its current form REDD cannot be agreed to here.

Some countries at the talks in Cancún, like Tuvalu and Bolivia, advocate real solutions to protect the world’s forests and denounce a REDD that would not safeguard the rights of forest dependant peoples or include carbon markets. Friends of the Earth supports these countries and urges others to follow their lead.

Isaac Rojas, International Programme Coordinator Forests and Biodiversity of Friends of the Earth International said: “Trading in forests has no part to play in a just international agreement to tackle climate change. Forests are not just sticks of carbon. Including forests in carbon offsetting initiatives does not work, it diverts attention from real measures to reduce emissions and prevent deforestation, and it threatens Indigenous Peoples and local communities who depend on forests. We call for action to stop deforestation by placing the conservation and management of forests in the hands of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. Nature cannot be commercialised.”

Ahfi Wahyu Hidayat, Friends of the Earth Indonesia said:

“1.6 Billion people in this world rely on forests, including 60 million Indigenous Peoples who depend entirely upon forests for their livelihoods, food, medicines and building materials. Including forests in carbon markets is likely to trigger a land grab – leaving these communities struggling to survive. In Cancún, governments must not choose for this pathway to disaster. Any initiative to tackle deforestation must ensure the Free, Prior and Informed Consent, and the enforcement of Indigenous Peoples and local communities’ territorial and customary land rights.”

Nnnimo Bassey, Friends of the Earth Nigera and chair Friends of the Earth International:

“Developed countries need to stop spending so much time trying to secure cheap forest carbon credits and focus on reducing their emissions at home. We need mechanisms to stop deforestation and not merely ones designed to allow developed countries to continue polluting and emitting carbon. We need real solutions to protect our forests, and we need developed countries to solve the climate problem they created by making drastic emissions cuts at home instead of offsetting them elsewhere. Rich countries should also commit to provide public money to stop deforestation, as a repayment of their climate debt.”



-Isaac Rojas, + (1) 998 108 0339 (Mexican mobile)

-Nnimmo Bassey. + (1) 998 137 74 93 (Mexican mobile)

-Ahfi Wahyu Hidayat + (1) 998 108 03 67 (Mexican mobile)

-Media contact Friends of the Earth International in Cancún:



For case studies on the negative effects of projects being readied in expectation of an agreement on “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries”, download the new Friends of the Earth International report “REDD: the Realities in Black and White”:

“REDD: the Realities in Black and White” (English)

REDD: les réalités noir sur blanc (French)

REDD: la verdad en blanco y negro (Spanish)

REDD:as realidades em branco e preto (Portuguese)