In the Media
Forest carbon & the Durban climate conference
December 07, 2011
One of the topics under discussion at Durban is the role carbon farming and other forestry measures could have in reducing emissions. With the possibility that negotiations will not bring about an agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, delegates are working on measures that could take place outside a climate agreement. The Conversation asked Dr Tim Cadman from the University of South Queensland about how much difference these measures could make. The following statements are from the interview.
With the phase out of the Kyoto Protocol commitment period in 2013, countries have been looking for alternative ways of reducing carbon emissions, methods that don’t rely on a new protocol. One proposal is to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+), and allow developed countries to count these as “offsets”.
Many academics and commentators consider that emissions trading has created an “empire” of carbon management and control, whereby local communities and indigenous people are heavily impacted. Stories are emerging of tribal lands being cleared of people so trees can be planted for offset programmes, and in some instances people have been shot and killed trying to gain access. In other cases, threatened ecosystems such as wetlands have been cleared to make way for carbon plantations.
There can be benefits, however, especially when local communities are encouraged to develop regionally appropriate solutions to the loss of natural forests. These can involve community forestry and the establishment of fuelwood plantations, for example. But it is essential to get good governance in place first. Carbon investment projects should not just land in a local community from “outer space” without first working with all stakeholders, landholders and rights-holders.
Please click here to read the original news item.
Keywords: COP 17, developing countries, Durban, governance, Kyoto, local community, REDD