jueves, 10 de febrero de 2011

REDD ignore primary causes of destruction of forests


"McDermott notes that if REDD results in an overriding focus on protecting and pricing the carbon stored in forests this will lead to the "further exclusion of indigenous people from their forests and the criminalization of their traditional livelihoods." These concerns are heightened by the growing number of "land grabs" by governments and individuals who are motivated by a desire to take advantage of REDD's forest-based carbon credits, incidents that already are occurring without consultation with local forest users."

New study suggests global pacts like REDD ignore primary causes of destruction of forests

By EurekAlert Sunday, January 23, 2011

NEW YORK (24 January 2010)—A new study issued today by some of the world's top experts on forest governance finds fault with a spate of international accords, and helps explain their failure to stop rampant destruction of the world's most vulnerable forests. The report suggests that global efforts have too often ignored local needs, while failing to address the most fundamental challenge to global forest management—that deforestation usually is caused by economic pressures imposed from outside the forests.

"Our findings suggest that disregarding the impact on forests of sectors such as agriculture and energy will doom any new international efforts whose goal is to conserve forests and slow climate change," said Jeremy Rayner, a professor at the University of Saskatchewan Graduate School of Public Policy and chair of the panel of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) that produced the new assessment. "With this report in hand, we can say with greater certainty that the success of current efforts to protect forests through a global climate change agreement will depend in part on whether negotiators integrate these findings into their policy proposals."

The product of some 60 experts in political science, policy studies, law and international relations, the new report represents the most comprehensive scientific assessment to date of international forest governance. The detailed results of the work of the expert panel, which was constituted under the Collaborative Partnership on Forests and coordinated by IUFRO, will be presented next week to the Ninth Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) as part of the launch of the International Year of Forests.

Rayner and others on the IUFRO panel argue in an accompanying policy brief that the report's findings suggest the need for a dramatic shift away from "top-down" efforts to protect forests. Instead, they say, most international initiatives, including the recent global pact under discussion, known as REDD, should focus more on supporting regional and national efforts to impact the forces that are putting the forests at risk.
The new assessment of international efforts to improve forest governance is being released as the United Nations prepares to launch the International Year of Forests at the Forum on Forests in New York. The report will explain why tropical forests remain at great risk, despite adoption of initiatives such as the Convention on Biological Diversity and global boycotts of tropical timber. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization's Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010, for example, South America lost 4 million hectares per year, while Africa lost 3.4 million hectares annually between 2000 and 2010.

To address such dilemmas, many groups have embraced REDD as a cure-all for addressing a variety of forest-related problems, primarily for its potential to bring new money to poor forested regions through payments for environmental services. REDD—which stands for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation—is the effort formally negotiated in December 2010 at the Cancun climate change conference.

Although the authors cite some successful examples of efforts to slow destruction of forests, it is argued in the report that REDD shows signs of repeating many of the mistakes of the past. Even an expanded REDD effort, known as REDD+, falls short of considering the needs and roles of forest communities and other local inhabitants. "REDD+ is an improvement, as it names forest conservation as a goal and sustainable forest management as a solution," Rayner said, "But it continues to explicitly value carbon storage above the improvement of forest conditions and livelihoods."

In their policy brief drawing on the results of the new assessment, the editors argue that REDD is more likely to succeed if the final agreement reflects lessons learned from past efforts. This means REDD negotiators must sufficiently engage stakeholders outside the forest sector—such as in the agriculture, transportation and energy sectors—and stop an over-reliance on a "one-size-fits-all" global scheme to address situations that are vastly different from region to region and country to country.

"REDD has gone further than past global forest strategies in engaging agriculture and other key sectors. Nevertheless, there is still a long ways to go," said Constance McDermott, James Martin Senior Fellow in Forest Governance at Oxford University's Environmental Change Institute. "Unless all sectors work together to address the impact of global consumption, including growing demand for food and biofuels, and problems of land scarcity, REDD will fail to arrest environmental degradation and will heighten poverty."
McDermott notes that if REDD results in an overriding focus on protecting and pricing the carbon stored in forests this will lead to the "further exclusion of indigenous people from their forests and the criminalization of their traditional livelihoods." These concerns are heightened by the growing number of "land grabs" by governments and individuals who are motivated by a desire to take advantage of REDD's forest-based carbon credits, incidents that already are occurring without consultation with local forest users.

"International approaches that aim to transform forests into storehouses for carbon, or for biodiversity or some other narrow purpose, are inevitably going to produce disappointing results," McDermott said. "Instead of generating 'grand plans' based on the simplification of complex problems on a global scale, we might be better advised to listen and learn from existing efforts, both public and private, across multiple scales and multiple sectors."

Despite noting the pitfalls surrounding REDD and other accords in chapters devoted to the topic, the report reflects optimism that conditions are ripe for reducing forest destruction worldwide, and with an international effort playing an important role.

The positive forces include an unprecedented amount of attention worldwide to the problem of illegal logging and a widespread acceptance of the concept of sustainable forest management. The report also cites a flurry of activity driven by NGOs to give local communities in many forested regions—and, in particular, indigenous groups and women—a stronger voice in forest planning processes.

Social civil's organizations claims for Climate justice, at COP 16, Cancun 2010.

Meanwhile, the IUFRO analysis finds many bright spots of forest governance work at the regional and national level. For example, the US, through its amendments to a law known as the Lacey Act, has made it illegal to import wood known to come from stolen timber. The EU is making a similar effort to exclude illegal wood from imports through its "due diligence" process that has forged important partnerships with major tropical timber producers like Cameroon. Brazil, long the target of an international campaign to reverse its forest destruction, has enacted new environmental and policy reforms that have the potential to slow forest loss in the Amazon Basin.

An example of a good start can be found within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which has engaged in a number of forest-related activities, including developing a regional standard for monitoring illegal logging and establishing a clearing house for assisting member states with forest-related research. The hope is that such a process will allow decision-makers to learn from the mistakes of the past.

The report also points out that many national actions have had an international component. The US and EU actions on illegal wood imports occurred in the wake of intensive advocacy efforts from NGOs. NGOs also played a strong role in Brazil's reforms. In addition, political support for forest reforms enacted in Guatemala was boosted by the fact that they were based on concepts widely embraced at the international level.

"We are not saying we need to abandon a global approach to forest governance, but we do need to establish the appropriate roles," said Rayner, chair of the IUFRO panel that produced the report. "The REDD process, for example, might provide a great way to raise money for sustainable forest management and other forest programs, but much of the details and operational aspects would be undertaken at the regional and national levels."

Rayner and other colleagues on the expert panel believe that far more can be accomplished if there is a reassessment of the proper role of global initiatives in driving productive changes in national and local management of valuable forestland. A chapter in the report proposes the creation of a new framework called "Forests +" that would bring a more inclusive spirit to global discussions of forest governance, focus most international initiatives on supporting and coordinating national and regional efforts, and pursue global accords only when a top-down approach is broadly demanded.

"The goal of Forests+ is to solve problems by focusing on the many ways people use forests and by including from the start a broad group of stakeholders and institutions inside and outside of forests," said Benjamin Cashore, professor of environmental governance and political science at Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and director of the Yale Program on Forest Policy and Governance. "Specifically we identified new ways of having an impact that don't require a 'top down' approach. Instead they would help nurture national and local strategies that work, provide training where needed and encourage market incentives that allow consumers to pick products based on how sustainably they are produced."

Cashore added that such an approach would pave the way for efforts within the forest sector to provide transparent, accountable and problem-focused efforts that would be critical in assessing any regional or global proposal, and for moving forward toward long term solutions. In their policy brief, IUFRO experts conclude that endowing Forests+ with the prestige and "moral authority" required to succeed will involve establishing a new high-level institution or assigning the role to an existing institution or even a consortium of groups. They note that the office of the UN Secretary General has energized other related efforts by establishing special offices and advisory boards. One model for implementing a Forests+ endeavor discussed in the IUFRO report is the Secretary General Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, which has helped galvanize action around water issues.

International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB)

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ONU: Los líderes del mundo no están preparados para concretar un acuerdo amplio sobre cambio climático

El secretario general de Naciones Unidas, Ban Ki-moon, ha sido foco de noticias en los últimos días con asuntos globales vinculados al medio ambiente. Primero se supo que el jerarca no continuará con un seguimiento específico de las negociaciones internacionales de clima, ante la evidencia de que no es posible un acuerdo global que incluya a todos los países.

Luego el diplomático criticó el modelo consumista mundial imperante y reclamó una revolución económica para superar la crisis ambiental. Y para eso invitó a muchas de las empresas más controvertidas del mundo.

Autoridades de Naciones Unidas citadas por el diario británico The Guardian el 27 de enero informaron que Ban Ki-moon redirigirá sus esfuerzos de promover avances en las negociaciones internacionales de cambio climático en el marco de ONU, a una agenda más amplia de promoción de la energía limpia y el desarrollo sustentable.

Según las fuentes, algunas no reveladas, el máximo representante de ONU llegó a la conclusión de que los líderes del mundo no están preparados para concretar un acuerdo amplio sobre cambio climático, al menos en los próximos años.

Se informa que la XV Conferencia de las Partes (COP) de la Convención Marco de Naciones Unidas sobre Cambio Climático, celebrada en diciembre de 2009 en Copenhague, Dinamarca, marcó a Ban Ki-Moon. El representante de ONU le había dedicado muchas energías a esa COP. La conferencia quedó en el peor recuerdo por las negociaciones a escondidas de un grupo de países, liderados por Estados Unidos, que intentaron imponer un acuerdo a los más de 190 estados participantes.

"Es muy evidente que no habrá un único gran acuerdo en ningún punto en el futuro cercano”, dijo el asistente del secretario general de ONU para Coordinación de Políticas y Planeamiento Estratégico, Robert Orr.

Desde Naciones Unidas se aclara que no es que las negociaciones de clima dejen de ser importantes, sino que el secretario general centrará más su atención en la sustentabilidad ambiental como tema de fondo. De todas formas, este giro puede afectar a las naciones en desarrollo que desde hace años presionan para que los estados industrializados se comprometan más en el marco del Protocolo de Kioto, acuerdo global legalmente vinculante de reducción de emisiones contaminantes. Varias naciones ricas buscan desmantelar el Protocolo.

En tanto, el 28 de enero de 2011, Ban Ki-moon dio un discurso ante el Foro Económico Mundial de Davos, Suiza, que reunió del 26 al 30 de ese mes a unos 30 jefes de Estado y 1400 presidentes de grandes empresas. Allí dijo que el modelo económico actual supone un “pacto suicida global”.

“Necesitamos una revolución”, expresó el jefe de la ONU, citado por la agencia AP. “El cambio climático también nos muestra que el modelo antiguo es más que obsoleto”, agregó. Para el diplomático es necesaria una revolución del libre mercado que permita la sustentabilidad mundial.

Con este objetivo de fondo, Ban Ki-moon lanzó en Davos el Global Compact LEAD, una plataforma que agrupa a más de 50 empresas que afirman ser líderes en la aplicación a sus prácticas de estrictos criterios de sustentabilidad social y ambiental. Las compañías participantes forman parte también del Pacto Mundial de Naciones Unidas, iniciativa voluntaria en la que las empresas se comprometen a alinear sus estrategias y operaciones con diez principios universalmente aceptados en cuatro áreas temáticas: derechos humanos, estándares laborales, medio ambiente y anti-corrupción.

Algunas de las corporaciones que participan del recién lanzado Global Compact LEAD son Nestlé, Coca Cola, Siemens, Shell, Total, Unilever, Endesa y BBVA. Varias de ellas enfrentan graves acusaciones, e inclusive juicios legales, por violaciones a los derechos humanos y contaminación en diversas partes del mundo.


México, quinto lugar en proyectos del mercado de carbono: Semarnat

Pemex y CFE tienen registrados planes de desarrollo limpio
México, quinto lugar en proyectos del mercado de carbono: Semarnat
Angélica Enciso L.  Periódico La Jornada,  Miércoles 9 de febrero de 2011, p. 43
Actualmente China concentra 57 por ciento de los proyectos del Mecanismo de Desarrollo Limpio (MDL) –que forman el mercado de carbono– del Protocolo de Kyoto. México, con 1.4 por ciento del total, ocupa el quinto lugar, con la perspectiva de crecer en los próximos años, informó Fernando Tudela, subsecretario de Planeación de la Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (Semarnat).

En conferencia de prensa, explicó que hasta ahora México tiene 36 proyectos certificados, que han cumplido con todos los procesos diseñados por la Organización de Naciones Unidas.

El funcionario dijo que se han colocado bonos de carbono, por 7.6 megatoneladas de bióxido de este elemento, que son adquiridas por países desarrollados.

Tudela informó que en cinco años México ha registrado 126 proyectos ante la Junta Ejecutiva del MDL y es una de las acciones que el gobierno ha establecido para llegar en 2012 a la reducción de 51 millones de toneladas de carbono, que establece el Programa Especial de Cambio Climático.
Sostuvo que en las negociaciones internacionales se busca que no haya brecha entre el primer periodo de compromisos del Protocolo de Kyoto, que vence en 2012, y el segundo, aunque están en contra países como Japón, Canadá y Rusia. Reconoció que la continuidad de ese compromiso está en duda.
Confió en que el MDL se mantenga, aunque todavía es lento el proceso para la aprobación de los proyectos, lo cual puede tardar hasta dos años, pero es el único mecanismo donde participan los países en vías de desarrollo y México tiene grandes oportunidades de seguir colocando proyectos.

Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) anotó su primer plan para mitigar 200 mil toneladas de bióxido de carbono y tiene alrededor de 20 en proceso de registro, que se estima podrán aportar una reducción de gases de efecto invernadero superior a 4 millones de toneladas.

La Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) cuenta con un proyecto eólico registrado que anualmente permitirá una mitigación superior a las 300 mil toneladas y tiene en proceso de inscripción unos 30 más, con posibilidades de reducir alrededor de 15 millones de toneladas.

Explicó que en los proyectos para la captura de metano en las granjas porcícolas, México va a la cabeza a escala mundial.

Exigen realizar consultas previas al establecimiento del mecanismo REDD+

Organizaciones no gubernamentales impulsan la medida
Exigen realizar consultas previas al establecimiento del mecanismo REDD+
Angélica Enciso L. - Periódico La Jornada - Lunes 7 de febrero de 2011, p. 34.
En el establecimiento del mecanismo de Reducción de Emisiones por Deforestación y Degradación (REDD+), que forma parte de los acuerdos de la COP-16, el gobierno debe respetar el derecho de consentimiento previo libre e informado, así como la consulta y acceso a la información para que se dé la participación efectiva de las comunidades y ejidos forestales, señalaron organizaciones civiles participantes en la campaña Las comunidades cuentan más.

Recordaron que durante la COP-16 de Cancún se presentó el documento Visión de México sobre REDD+, en cuya elaboración participaron instancias gubernamentales, así como organizaciones de la sociedad civil. En ella se reconocieron los derechos sobre propiedad social de la tierra, el derecho al uso sustentable de los recursos forestales y la necesidad de construir de manera amplia e incluyente la estrategia nacional de REDD+.

Sin embargo, hasta ahora se desconoce información sobre los contratos firmados con el Banco Mundial a partir de los proyectos del Programa de Inversión Forestal, destinados a proyectos piloto REDD+ en México y proyectos del Fondo Cooperativo para el Carbono de los Bosques, y de los recursos acordados con el gobierno de Noruega.
La campaña está integrada por el Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental (Cemda), Oxfam México, Red Mexicana de Organizaciones Campesinas Forestales (Red Mocaf) y la Unión Nacional de Organizaciones Autónomas-Coordinadora Nacional.

En un análisis, indicaron que la decisión sobre el establecimiento del REDD se definirá a partir de los resultados de la consulta pública a ejidatarios y comunidades, cuyo papel es fundamental, ya que son dueños de alrededor de 70 por ciento de los terrenos forestales en México.

Se promoverá la participación de representantes de comunidades y ejidos en los espacios de toma de decisión, señaló Gustavo Sánchez, de la Red Mocaf.