Friends of the Earth International

When it comes to climate change, REDD is the couleur du jour. “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries” holds out the enticing prospect of mitigating climate change, conserving threatened biodiversity, and bringing much-needed development finance to poor Indigenous Peoples and local forest-dwelling communities – at the same time as offering significant profits to investors. All this immediately begs the question: is REDD too good to be true?

The answer, unfortunately, is “yes”. Although REDD may benefit some communities and biodiversity in certain specific areas, overall it is emerging as a mechanism that has the potential to exacerbate inequality, reaping huge rewards for corporate and other large investors whilst bringing considerably fewer benefits -or even serious disadvantages- to Indigenous Peoples and other forest-dependent communities. In addition, if governments focus on REDD in isolation, it could become a dangerous and ineffective distraction from the business of implementing real and effective policies for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

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