Friday, June 24, 2011

Indigenous peoples opposed to Indonesian carbon swap

Forest-dwelling communities in the Indonesian state of Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo, have expressed their objection to the REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) agreements signed by Indonesia with other countries and non-governmental groups.

REDD schemes are designed to put an economic value on forested lands for biodiversity and ecosystems services, where previously the only ways to extract monetary value from them were logging and clearing land for agriculture. Under such schemes, many of which are bilateral, governments are paid money in exchange for preserving tracts of forest. (Example: UN-REDD programme in Indonesia)

To quote a forest reserve executive in Guyana: "We have a resource we would like to get money for. Either you pay us for biodiversity services or we will sell the forest to Malaysian logging companies." (source)

Indigenous peoples who claim customary use of forests have objected to them because they feel that their rights to the land have been overlooked in the process, displacing them from their livelihood and dwellings. It seems like there may be more than one indigenous organization making public statements against REDD programmes.

I've previously blogged about how deforested land is being 'swept under the carpet' due to poor oversight. Related concerns have been expressed about the tremendous potential for corruption that they bring. It seems obvious to state that corruption is possible when large sums of money are being given to a central government to pay for a rural commodity (ecosystem services) which is hard to define and which you can't take conventional delivery of.

No comments: