Posted on 14 July 2010
Civil society has been all but shut out of a crucial meeting intended to move ahead efforts to tackle climate change by halting forest loss. With only one week remaining before the meeting is set to get underway in Brazil, NGOs received an eleventh hour notice that registration was open to them.
– Civil society has been all but shut out of a crucial meeting intended to move ahead efforts to tackle climate change by halting forest loss.
With only one week remaining before the meeting is set to get underway in Brazil, NGOs received an eleventh hour notice that registration was open to them.
“If you’re planning a party, you would invite out of town guests well in advance to be sure they have time to pack their bags and make travel plans. That’s just common sense,” said Paul Chatterton, leader of WWF’s Forest Carbon Initiative
. “By waiting until the last minute to invite civil society participants to this meeting, the organizers have virtually guaranteed that these invitees will not be able to participate. Organizers seem to have included NGOs as an afterthought.”
Governments from key forest and donor countries are gathering for the first time since they established a new partnership on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) at May’s Forest and Climate Conference in Oslo. This next meeting of the REDD+ Partnership takes place July 14-15 in Brasilia, Brazil under the co-chairmanship of Japan and PNG.
While WWF strongly supports the aim of the REDD+ Partnership and welcomed the agreement signed in Oslo, this week’s development has sparked serious concern that the process is failing to live up to the principles of civil society engagement.
“Basic elements of transparency are missing here,” said Chatterton. “Civil society has not been given an appropriate opportunity to participate in this meeting and that is unacceptable.”
WWF is calling on participants in the REDD+ Partnership to outline how the process will move forward in a more coordinated and transparent manner so that civil society engagement can be ensured in upcoming meetings.
The REDD+ Partnership was established to advance REDD+ activities and is essential to maintaining momentum for climate change mitigation efforts focused on halting deforestation.
What is REDD?
Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, or REDD, is an effort to make trees worth more standing than cut down by providing developing countries with economic incentives to protect their forests. When done right, in a way that safeguards the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples, REDD can not only benefit the climate, but also biodiversity and local livelihoods.