redd-monitor: Norwegian funded study exposes the myth of sustainable forest management

 

 

In 2007, sustainable forest management was written into the definition of REDD in the Bali Action Plan. Ten years later, the main funder of REDD, the Norwegian government, has commissioned a review of sustainable forest management.

 

As the report is not available on the website of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (or anywhere else), REDD-Monitor is making it available here, in the interests of transparency and to generate further discussion.

 

(It’s possible that the report is still in draft form, although there is no indication in the report that this is a draft version. The file title – and the file properties – indicate that it was created in November 2017.)

 

The review, “Sustainable forest management in the tropics: between myth and opportunities”, was written by Ervan Rutishauser and Martin Herold. They write that,

 

    The aim of this review is to provide an objective assessment of the effects of wood harvest in tropical forests and identify current knowledge gaps.

 

Rutishauser and Herold note that a 2011 draft conclusion defined by the chair of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice defines sustainable forest management as “a dynamic and evolving concept aiming at maintaining and enhancing the economic, social and environmental value of all types of forests, for the benefit of present and future generations.”

 

That, of course, covers just about everything and nothing, depending on whether you think cutting the trees to save the forest is a good idea, or not.

The executive summary is not a summary of the report

 

The report’s executive summary is at odds with the rest of the report. The executive summary gives the impression that sustainable forest management exists and could provide a way of preserving forests. The report itself provides considerable evidence that this is not the case.

 

The executive summary states that sustainable forest management is carried out in only 18% of active production forests in the tropics, but no source is given for this figure, and the figure doesn’t appear in the report itself.

 

The executive summary states that lack of regulation allows expansion of illegal logging and conversion of degraded forests, and that investment in sustainable forest management is hampered by low timber prices, lack of financial incentives, and unsecured land tenure.

 

Nevertheless, sustainable forest management, the executive summary states, “could play a significant role in climate change mitigation efforts in reducing the negative environmental impacts (e.g. loss of biodiversity, carbon emission) of industrial logging”. The report itself makes no such claims for sustainable forest management.

 

The executive summary concludes that,

 

    Overall, this report points out that preserving intact forests, encouraging sustainable management of production forests and developing a restrictive forest policy framework appear as a best (but hard to attain) compromise.

 

It’s difficult to believe that the executive summary was written by the same authors as the rest of the report.

 

Read more...

Go back

CBFP News

Forests play a key role in tackling climate change

This briefing note from Coordination SUD and Fern analyses the issues we need to address to ensure forests help deliver tropical forested countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). This includes respect for communities’ rights and preserving their livelihoods, protecting and restoring biodiversity, and improved forest governance. Tackling these challenges will require effective civil society participation.

Read more …

Cbd-Zero Draft of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework published by the Secretariat

The Open-Ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework has been tasked with advancing preparations for the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. It is expected that this process will culminate in the adoption of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework by the Conference of the Parties to the CBD, at the UN Biodiversity Conference in 2020 in Kunming, China as a stepping stone towards achieving the 2050 Vision of “Living in harmony with nature".

Read more …

Ecozona-The Screaming Forest: An Ecocritical Assessment of Le Cri de la forêt

From a postcolonial ecocritical standpoint, this essay analyzes the play Le Cri de la forêt (2015) co-authored by Henri Djombo, a cabinet minister from Congo-Brazzaville, and Osée Colin Koagne, a stage director and environmental activist from Francophone Cameroon. Mindful of the rich biodiversity of the Congo Basin where the playwrights originate, the essay interrogates why the forest in the play is screaming and moves on to engage with related ecological questions such as the scapegoating of witchcraft and doubtful traditional beliefs amidst climate change.

Read more …

FERN: Five EU forest trends to watch out for in 2020 & Save the Date - February 2020 (Brussels)

In 2019, forests and forest peoples’ rights rose up the global political – and spiritual - agenda, and the EU made high profile commitments to protect forests abroad and at home as part of their European Green Deal.  But will 2020 see such commitments turned into action? Here are five questions we hope to give positive answers to at the end of the year...

Read more …

Overview and analyses of key national policies, strategies and action plans relevant to deforestation, child and forced labour, and smallholder inclusion in Cameroon

The overarching objective of this study is to identify laws and policies on deforestation, child labour, force labour and smallholder inclusion in Cameroon, and analyze how these policies support the private sector to align with the sustainable production of timber, palm oil, cocoa and rubber. This review clearly demonstrates that both government and private sector can achieve targets of curbing deforestation and ensuring effective respect of human rights along the supply chains of the selected commodities.

Read more …

Statement on the situation of wildlife in the Congo Basin (and in Cameroon in particular) - Resolving Conservation Conflicts in West/Central African Protected Areas

The statement is the outcome of a meeting of various CBFP partners at the Congo Basin Institute in Yaounde:  ...We are a group of scientists, including faculty members from respected universities in Cameroon and abroad, representatives of protected areas management units, law enforcement organisations (LAGA), rangers, and international organisations (TRAFFIC, WWF). In October 2019, we met in Yaoundé to assess the current status of conservation in the country and discuss ways forward to solve what we consider to be a conservation crisis...

Read more …

Final Communiqué of the Experts’ Meeting to Follow up on the N’Djamena Conference on The Sahel-Congo Basin Roadmap on the Operational Implementation of the N'Djamena Declaration Synthesis

The Kingdom of Belgium Facilitation of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), in close collaboration with the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC) and the Government of the Republic of Cameroon, hosted from 16 to 17 December 2019 in Douala, Cameroon, the Experts’ Meeting for the follow up of the International conference on Security, Poaching, Transhumance Management and the Movements of Armed Groups between the Sahel and Equatorial Africa.

Read more …

CAFI and EU join forces for the future of Central African Forests

Brussels, 4 November:  As part of growing commitments from donors to Central African forests and people, matching growing concern about accelerating forest loss of Earth’s 2nd lung, the  European Commission signed a15 million euros (16 million dollars) funding agreement to the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) Trust Fund.

Read more …

CBFP News Archive