14 Dec 2009, 1:06am
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Forest Deal at Copenhagen Must Avoid Creating ‘Carbon Refugees,’ Scientists Urge

ScienceDaily (Dec. 12, 2009) [here]

Forest dwellers must be included in the design of the upcoming forest deal at Copenhagen in order to avoid a humanitarian crisis, according to a scientist at the University of Leeds.

Writing in the journal Nature, Dr Simon Lewis argues that at least 50% of the carbon credit payments to be agreed at Copenhagen, known as REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degredation), should be made to forest dwellers directly, and their property rights assured.

“There is the potential here for humanitarian crisis if REDD is not done properly,” said Dr Simon Lewis from the Earth & Biosphere Institute at the University of Leeds.

“Without careful planning REDD stands to create large numbers of ‘carbon refugees’ as governments curb financially unrewarding deforesting activities such as those of small-scale agriculturalist and fuel-wood harvesters who mostly pay no taxes on the products they produce. Forest dwellers could be excluded from their means of subsistence to preserve carbon.”

New research also just published supports the view that people living in forest-dependent communities are a part of the solution to preserving forests, not a part of the problem. … [more]

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