World Rainforest Movement

GenderCC Contribution to the UNFCCC on REDD

Poznan, December 6. GenderCC, a worldwide network whose main objective is to integrate gender justice in climate change policy at local, national and international levels, has submitted today to the Secretariat of the UNFCC and is distributing to the delegates, the following document containing the main points the network believes should be taken into account in the Assembly document.

1. A comprehensive gender assessment is needed of the potential impacts of different policies and incentives to reduce deforestation and forest degradation on women before the negotiations on this issue are continued within the framework of the FCCC.

2. The REDD negotiations are likely to lead to very inequitable outcomes, as any mechanism that compensates women, men, communities, Peoples or countries for reducing their deforestation will per definition benefit those who are involved in large-scale deforestation. Women, and Indigenous Peoples, are on average far less involved in activities that lead to large-scale deforestation. They will thus not benefit from REDD mechanisms, especially if they are financed through the carbon market.

3. Proposals to combine market-based funding for reducing deforestation with public funding for forest conservation and restoration will not solve these inequities, as market-based funding is expected to be a tenfold of public funding. Moreover, the possibility to finance REDD through carbon offseting will have a very negative effect on available levels of public funding, as it would be more attractive for donor countries to finance REDD through offsets. Thus, women, Indigenous Peoples and other actors and countries that have successfully halted deforestation and conserved forests will only receive very modest financial support, while those actors and countries that have been destroying forests until now are likely to receive very significant funding to “compensate” their reduced levels of deforestation.

4. The REDD discussions are already triggering elite resource appropriation. Developing countries, governments, corporations and large international conservation agencies are buying up or acquiring large tracks of land to profit from REDD. This leads to land privatization and concentration, and frustrates land reform and land rights claims by Indigenous Peoples.

5. We strongly reject the so-called net approach to reducing deforestation, as the current definition of “forests” includes monoculture tree plantations. So the net approach would allow countries like Brazil (which is planning to establish up to 500.000 hectares of new monoculture tree plantations until 2010), to compensate their deforestation with these plantations. Monoculture tree plantations have a devastating impact on women’s livelihoods and communities in general. They destroy ecosystems and subsistence agriculture, cause rural unemployment and depopulation, deplete soils and water resources and violate Indigenous Peoples’ rights.

6. For the same reason, we also insist that the definition of “forests” is revised so as to exclude monoculture tree plantations. It should be ensured that forest degradation is fully taken into account in any scheme to conserve forests.

7. We reject any forest-related scheme that ignores or undermines the many different values forests have for women and men. Any incentive scheme that favours the carbon value of ecosystems more than other values will lead to serious negative impacts on food and water sovereignty, access to traditional medicines and seeds, and other socio-economic, cultural, spiritual and ecological values of forests.