What do we want – Forest Protection!

posted by Becky Ran

Delegates entering the second week of the climate change negotiations at Bonn were greeted today with a demonstration on forest protection organized by the International Youth Caucus (supported by RAN and several other groups, full list below.) Life size trees and over 30 people chanted and sang to make the point that a strong forest agreement is a critical part of any climate change agreement.

The demonstration came as logging industry interests are gaining ground in the negotiations, weakening the prospective REDD forest treaty. The demonstration today was accompanied by a formal statement, asking that any climate treaty:

• Immediately ends deforestation, industrial scale logging in primary
forests and the conversion of forests to monoculture tree crops, plantations;
• Protects the world’s biodiverse forests including primary forests in
developed countries (e.g. Australia, Canada and Russia) and tropical forests in developing countries;
• Respects the rights of woman, Indigenous peoples and local communities and allow them to lead healthy and sustainable lives whilst stopping deforestation and industrial logging of primary forests in their country, and;
• Does not allow developed countries to use forest protection and the avoiding deforestation and industrial scale logging of primary forests in other countries as an offset mechanism for their own emissions.

The action also included a moment of silence for the indigenous peoples who have died this week in Peru protecting their rights to free, prior and informed consent.

Groups supporting the action included:

Ecosystems Climate Alliance, Global Witness, The Wilderness Society, Wetlands International, Rainforest Action Network, Rainforest Foundation Norway and Rainforest Foundation UK, FERN, and Friends of the Earth International, Greenpeace, World Rainforest Movement, Global Forest Coalition, Global Climate Justice Project, Stop GE Trees, Union pour l’Emancipation de la Femme Autochtone and the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group