The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Global Forest Coalition chairperson, Dr. Miguel Lovera +48  726 078 399

The Wilderness Society
spokesperson, Sean Cadman  + 61 437 075 212
Global Forest Coalition media coordinator, Orin Langelle  +48  696 723 046

UN Climate Deal Could Pay for Forest Destruction

Carbon Karma Fortune-telling Action Foretells REDD Profits

POZNAN, Poland

Global Forest Coalition, The Wilderness Society, Global Justice Ecology Project
and concerned youth highlighted the risks associated with the
implementation of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest
Degradation (REDD) in a "REDD fortune-telling" action today at the UN
Climate conference here. In its current form, they argue, REDD could
derail the Climate Convention and undermine a post-2012 Climate

In a parody of what calculations of carbon base lines have become,
fortune-tellers introduced a new 'methodology' to predict future
deforestation rates. They rounded up delegates from different
countries to read their "Carbon Karma" by gazing into a crystal ball to
see how much the rate of deforestation in the delegate's country would
rise in the future, and hence how much money they could expect to make
from REDD for reducing that predicted rate of future deforestation
(i.e. increasing the rate of deforestation more slowly).

The action also exposed another major problem with REDD-that the
inclusion of REDD into the carbon market will mainly benefit the
countries and actors that have caused most of the world's
deforestation. These countries would receive the greatest benefits
from REDD, where countries that have successfully conserved their
forests would be left out. Many of the false solutions proposed, like
the "stock-flow approach" or the proposal to work with "flexible and
adaptive country-specific baselines" will further create massive
amounts of false carbon credits, thereby allowing the continued
emissions of carbon from industrialized countries.

Other risks to REDD include the promotion of tree plantations and the
violation of Indigenous Peoples' rights. Marcial Arias, of the Kuna
Indigenous Peoples and Global Forest Coalition
said: "The Indigenous Peoples will lose in the REDD regime as proposed
and most of the funding will go to those who are destroying the

A statement issued earlier from the International Indigenous Peoples
Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC) read: "We call for the suspension of
all REDD initiatives in Indigenous territories until such a time that
Indigenous Peoples' rights are fully recognized and promoted". [1]

Gemma Tillack, a youth representative from Tasmania, Australia and a spokesperson for The Wilderness Society
concluded: "If the current definition of 'forests' is used in REDD, it
could lead to the massive direct and indirect replacement of carbon
rich forests by monoculture tree plantations, and the violation of
Indigenous Peoples rights. Some developed countries have been using a
loophole in the definition to convert biodiverse, carbon dense forests
to biologically barren monoculture tree plantations without incurring
any emission penalty, despite the disastrous impact this practice has
on biodiversity, local communities and CO2 emissions".