Apr. 2, 2013
REDD intiatives have been decried as a form of neo-colonialism.
African participants at the World Social Forum in Tunisia have taken a historic decision to launch a No REDD in Africa Network and join the global movement against REDD.
Participants from Nigeria, South Africa, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Mozambique, Tunisia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, and Tanzania participated in the launch of the network recently.
REDD, an acronym for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation; as well as REDD+ are carbon offset mechanisms whereby industrialized Northern countries use forests, agriculture, soils and even water as sponges for their pollution instead of reducing greenhouse gas emissions at source.
The initiatives have continued to elicit severe criticisms for its ‘rampant’ land grabs and neocolonialism in Africa.
“REDD is no longer just a false solution but a new form of colonialism,” said Nnimmo Bassey, Alternative Nobel Prize Laureate and former Executive Director of ERA/Friends of the Earth Nigeria.
“In Africa, REDD+ is emerging as a new form of colonialism, economic subjugation and a driver of land grabs so massive that they may constitute a continent grab,” Mr. Bassey said.
“We launch the No REDD in Africa Network to defend the continent from carbon colonialism,” he added.
In the UN-REDD Framework Document, the United Nations itself admits that REDD could result in the “lock-up of forests,” “loss of land” and “new risks for the poor.”
Initially, REDD targeted forest conservation but its scope had expanded to include soils and agriculture.
In a teach-in session, Sunday, at the World Social Forum in Tunis, members of the La Via Campesina, the world’s largest peasant movement, said that they were concerned that REDD projects in Africa would threaten food security and could eventually cause hunger.
A recent study by the movement on the N’hambita REDD project in Mozambique found that thousands of farmers were not only paid meagre amounts to tend trees for seven years but that because the contract is for 99 years, if the farmer dies his or her children and their children must continue to tend the trees for free.
“This constitutes carbon slavery,” said the emerging No REDD in Africa Network. Read more-PremiumTimes