Yesterday the New York Times featured the plight of Indonesian rainforests and the relevance of stemming deforestation in order to address global climate change on the front page. While the article correctly identifies the global importance of rainforests and peatlands for the climate, it leaves the reader inadequately informed on the potential for perverse outcomes for forests and the climate in the REDD treaty that will be discussed in the upcoming Copenhagen talks.
Cutting forests and converting them to plantations will not save forests, stem climate change or achieve community development. APRIL’s proposal is based on the self-serving and erroneous assumption that the entire Kampar peninsula will be lost. In fact, there are other viable conservation and development scenarios for the Kampar that are based on recognizing community land rights and protecting remaining natural forests and peatlands.
A REDD treaty with credible forest definitions and effective safeguards must serve to provide resources for exactly these type of low carbon development scenarios rather than subsidize business as usual packaged solutions.