False Solutions

False Solution 1:

Carbon markets

Carbon offset programs such as UN-REDD and REDD+ were adopted in collaboration with three organizations from the United Nations: FAO, UNDP and UNEP in 2008. REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) grants the opportunity to countries and corporations of Global North to exceed their permitted greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by remunerating and using the forests in the Global South as Carbon Sinks. Such conservation programs have led to increased deforestation, GHG emissions, human rights violations and ecocides. The land management policies of REDD have resulted in local and indigenous peoples losing land and access to forests, often a main source of food, shelter, and livelihood. This displacement not only results in additional destruction of the ecosystems and the environment but also hinders the passing of traditional ecological knowledge that has allowed for the flourishing of forestland and a symbiotic relationship between indigenous peoples and the land. Under this framework, the land is privatized and the ownership is transferred to conservation based NGOs that permit industrial agriculture, “sustainable” logging and mining in previously protected zones, all while stripping local people of their livelihoods, cultures, and basic human rights.

Programs to offset biodiversity loss in one place by “conserving” land in another often are highly unsuccessful and lead to land grabbing, displacing communities, and infringing on human rights of local peoples (FOEI, 2019). A study completed of “558 offset projects between 1990-2011 found that despite offset attempts the net loss of habitats was 99%” (2019;2). Nature cannot be quantified. People over profit. There are highly lenient baselines for how much deforestation can continue to occur under these programs. REDD allows certain countries to continue polluting at the expense of others, a continuation of neo-colonialism. Often, money from the corporation or state will go to the national government rather than the local communities who live on the land. Programs such as REDD+ attempt to “save” the emissions to sell to corporations so they can continue polluting. It's a luring opportunity for a corporation to invest in forest conservation projects to offset their emissions. The REDD+ program has become a huge economic opportunity as the REDD+ permits are sold in voluntary Carbon Markets. However, as we have indicated above, offset programs actually lead to greater emissions, habitat loss, and greater biodiversity loss. To find out more about carbon markets and carbon trading, please visit our cooperative member’s website, Money or Mitigation on Carbon Markets and REDD+ and our Economy page.

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False Solution 2: 

Institutional Approaches That do not Address Systemic Causes

In Forest Peoples Programme’s 2018 Report “Closing the Gap: Rights Based Solutions for Tackling Deforestation,” FPP addresses a variety of policies and approaches to mitigate deforestation. Commodity certification and voluntary standards, corporate social responsibility, and corporate commitments to zero deforestation are all top-down approaches which are self-regulating, do not address the colonial nature of the corporation’s existence, and do not address the businesses they partner with, the local laws. These approaches do not necessarily assist in changing national or international policy. Public policies and law enforcement to protect indigenous rights and land are necessary, but can often come at the price of pushing out indigenous communities. In 2004, the Zero Deforestation Law in Paraguay decreased forest loss but displaced local indigenous peoples and favored unsustainable industrial soy farmers needs instead.