The United Nations Collaborative Program on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (known as REDD), which is backed by the World Bank, seems to be one area where representatives of the COP16 countries who met in Cancun in December might safely agree. However, according to Friends of the Earth, the scheme, which was set up so rich nations can pay developing countries to leave their forests intact, ‘is emerging as a mechanism that has the potential to exacerbate inequality, reaping huge rewards for corporate and other large investors whilst bringing considerably fewer benefits – or even serious disadvantages – to indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities’. They are not alone in their criticism. Indigenous and environmental activists protested outside the Cancun summit, shouting ‘No to REDD!’ Bolivian President Evo Morales (pictured) joined the critics, saying that the proposals did not take climate change adaptation or water preservation measures into account. ‘The government representatives in the COP16 need to stop talking business and start talking about climate,’ said Alberto Gómez, of Vía Campesina. ‘The REDD and carbon markets are only business opportunities for the expansion of the domination of transnational companies.’
Latinamerica Press, 10 December 2010
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