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Tribal activists see REDD in Cancun

India has agreed to allow a market mechanism in a forestry scheme, Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), though critics claim this may weaken the traditional forest rights of tribals.

world Updated: Dec 09, 2010 23:56 IST
Chetan Chauhan

India has agreed to allow a market mechanism in a forestry scheme, Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), though critics claim this may weaken the traditional forest rights of tribals.

However, environment minister Jairam Ramesh insisted REDD schemes would have no impact on India as most of the money will go to Brazil and Indonesia. “We will receive a negligible amount,” he said, while noting India did

not oppose the market mechanism. This means companies can pay to plant forests to compensate for carbon emissions they emit elsewhere, with the money being paid to the government where the foresting is taking place.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised REDD as a global “reforestation” programme.

An Indian official said that the entire money that comes under REDD or REDD plus would ploughed back to the forest dwellers. However, it remains unclear how the rights of forest dwellers, as enshrined in the Forest Rights Act, will be ensured in areas that might come under a REDD scheme.

Ramesh emphasised New Delhi will invest R460 billion for forests under the Green India Mission in the next ten years.

Sankar Gopalakrishnan of Campaign for Survival and Dignity had recently claimed that REDD would allow companies to take over Indian forests. The market clause was inserted at the request of the European Union and United States and only opposed by Bolivia.