Friday, December 11, 2009

REDD Hits Bumps in the Road After a Generally Positive Week of Negotiations

The overall message is that things are going well for REDD in the negotiations, that there has been clear progress. However, the lead negotiator for Papua New Guinea, Kevin Conrad, pointed his finger at the United States and Colombia for pushing for sub-national activities which he called “suicide” for small island states. He also stressed that this is a big issue that needs t be addressed here in Copenhagen before a REDD agenda can move forward.

Three additional points that are proving to be difficult to get into the text are; 1) the issue of conversion of natural forests to plantations 2) the rights of indigenous people, and 3) setting long term goals (short term goals are becoming well established).

There was positive news from Norway (who have been champions of rainforest financing, including their pledge of three billion dollars over five years that they announced in Bali in 2007), where the issue of deforestation as part of a successful climate agreement was part of a conversation between Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and President Barack Obama.

These issues are expected to push into the negotiations next week as over 100 heads of state are expected to arrive here at Cop 15.

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