In early August the California Air Resources Board is to decide whether REDD+ old-growth forest logging should be considered a carbon credit under the state’s carbon markets. Led by “Code REDD”, many NGOs and companies such as Disney, PG&E electricity, Forest Trends, and Rainforest Alliance, are supporting the measure. The United Nations' "Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation" program (UNREDD or REDD+) – originally envisioned as paying to protect primary and old growth forests as a climate change and deforestation solution – has been hi-jacked by logging interests and their pro-logging NGO, corporate, and government friends; and will instead subsidize primary forest logging. A whole industry of old-growth destroying charlatans have grown up around the myth that logging these sacred, naturally evolved, ancient forests is somehow good for the forests and helps protect climate. These groups espouse nonsense that logging old-growth forests can be done sustainably, such ecocide is forest protection, and it is beneficial for the climate – when in fact it is about self-enrichment from continued old-growth forest logging.
REDD was originally intended to protect Earth's remaining and rapidly diminishing primary rainforests and other old-growth forests, making "avoided deforestation" payments to local forest peoples – with a portion to governments – as an international climate and deforestation solution. Large areas of old-growth forests were to be fully protected from industrial development, local communities were to benefit from standing old forests, while keeping existing and new forest carbon sequestered. After years of government, industry and corporate NGO pressure, REDD+ as it stands will now fund first time industrial primary rainforest logging and destruction under the veil of "sustainable forest management" and "carbon forestry". REDD+ can fund heavy first time selective logging, and thus destruction, of primary forests; and paying to clear old-growth forests for establishment of plantations, claiming it is all good for the climate, and paid for by carbon markets.
Large, standing, and ecologically intact old-growth forest ecosystems are key to sustaining climate, ecosystems, biodiversity, local livelihoods, and the Earth System’s one shared biosphere – and thus humanity and all life. Loss and diminishment of primary rainforests and other old-growth forests are never ecologically sustainable. Ecologically and evolutionarily intact old forests cover less than 20% of their original extent. Old-growth forest destruction accounts for at least 18% (the science remains unclear with estimates of 10-20% common, and a portion of the hydro-carbons thereby accessed should count as well) of anthropocentric carbon release. Old-growth forest logging results in mass extinction, threatens local ecosystems and livelihoods, and according to a soon to be published scientific journal article by Dr. Glen Barry of Ecological Internet, may eventually result in biosphere collapse (http://bit.ly/EICollapse).
REDD+ joins the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) as yet another forest movement sell-out - the latter founded and supported by Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network and WWF - which promotes "sustainable forest management" as the best policy to protect old-growth forests. Most major corporate NGOs now claim first time industrial logging of primary forests is beneficial to climate and old forests, and most remaining large forests are now threatened by REDD+ and FSC finance and greenwash. The ecological truth is that primary forest logging is a crime against Earth, the human family, and all life. Such greenwash of first time industrial primary forest logging must be called out wherever it is occurring, and resisted by those in the global ecology movement committed to sustaining local advancement and ecosystem services from standing old-growth forests, and doing what is sufficient to avert global ecosystem collapse.
It is time to end primary forest logging as a keystone response to the climate, biodiversity and ecosystem crises ravaging Earth. Please demand the California Air Resources Board reject inclusion of REDD+ old-growth logging in their carbon market; and that the forest carbon industry end all involvement with primary rainforest and other old-growth logging, and work exclusively for old forest protection, restoration, and small-scale local eco-forestry. Please send the alert – and donate what you can afford –– to support our brave, quixotic, and highly successful campaign to end primary forest logging at: http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/donate/
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REDD+ includes a carbon forestry vision of logging Earth's last primary forests to managed tree plantations; claiming it is development, forest protection, and good for the climate
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cc: UN REDD, Code REDD, Wildlife Conservation Society, Skoll Foundation, Walt Disney Studio, PG&E, Global Canopy Programme, SMUD, CIMA, Rainforest Alliance, Cocomasur, Verified Carbon Standard, South Pole Carbon, New Resource Bank, Forest Trends, Triple Pundit, CSR Wire, Carbonfund.org, Forest Carbon Offsets, Carbon Green Africa, Environment Africa