Global coalition demands end to deforestation
Adianto P. Simamora , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta Wed, 06/10/2009 1:02 PM National
A coalition of global forests appealed to the world's negotiators in Bonn climate conference to make a strong deal on ending the deforestation.
Dozens of global green groups -including the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), Rava Institute Indonesia, Watch Indonesia and Greenpeace - gathered in Bonn to deliver a warning that climate deals should ensure the survival of all countries and peoples around the world.
"We submit the petition at the Bonn conference asking negotiators to end deforestation and stop expansions of timber plantations," Teguh Surya, a forest campaigner from Walhi, told The Jakarta Post from Bonn on Tuesday.
"But such moves will not be effective for as long as rich nations do not change their consumption of timber products, including those from Indonesia," Teguh said.
Youth groups, NGOs, indigenous organizations, women's groups also joined the global forest coalition.
"Survival is not negotiable. The climate deal signed in Copenhagen needs to ensure the survival of all countries and peoples," youth spokesperson Gemma Tillack said.
"The immediate protection of the world's forests is no longer just an option, it is essential to ensure a safe climate for us and our kids."
Delegates from about 190 countries gathered in Bonn, Germany, to discuss a great number of global issues, including the Bali road map for emissions cuts, adaptation funds, technology transfers and mitigation efforts.
At a groundbreaking UN meeting in 2007 in Bali, most countries decided to craft a successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol which had obliged 37 industrial countries to cut carbon dioxide and other pollutants by a total of 5 percent from 1990 levels by 2012. They gave themselves a two-year time frame to complete the new agreement.
With six months left, however, negotiators are still deadlocked on major issues. They will gather three more times before a decisive meeting in December in the Danish capital of Copenhagen, when an accord is scheduled to be adopted.
The countries have agreed to use forests under the reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) mechanism as an alternative way to reduce emissions.
The forest coalition, however, said developed nations should not use forest protection and avoiding deforestation in developing nations as an offset mechanism for their own emissions. It said the negotiators should identify underlying causes of deforestation and degradation and involve indigenous peoples and women's groups in decision-making processes related to forests.
"Any policies intended to reduce deforestation and forest degradation should include measures to reduce consumption of forest products, especially in the industrialized North," the statement said.