Article Critique on REDD+
Columbia Southern University
BEM 3001: Environmental Law
Professor Mitch Weiss
REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) is a financial incentive program to limit deforestation worldwide. REDD+ is funded internationally. REDD+ also has political power from the United Nations and thirteen program countries. This partnership has expanded into twenty-three countries in Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and Latin America. (“National Programmes,” n.d.) The European community, as well as the United States, was seeking ways to encourage responsible and sustainable logging. The program expanded and now also focuses on tropical forests. REDD+’s main thrust is to prevent any developing nation from converting forests into barren fields.
Deforestation has a major impact on climate regulations. The United Nations has decided that economic rewards from wealthy nations will enable others to make global decisions as their economies develop. REDD+ is “a catalyst for transformation to a Green Economy.” (“UN-REDD Programme-Climate Funds Update,” n.d.) The simple solution to pay nations not to cut down forests intends to assist them to find other means of expansion. The poorest countries have countered that they not only need the income from logging, but the timber to build homes and hospitals, to produce paper products, and for agriculture. (“This U.N. Program Should Have Taxpayers Seeing REDD,” 2011) The United Nations has not laid out a plan as to what industries they consider “Green”. Many developing countries are involved in recycling. This is an industry that is laden with hazards. Marine pollution is a worldwide issue. If a nation recycles shipping vessels over open water, is the industry truly “Green”? Policing of such ventures is spotty and lacks the power to enforce any regulations as set by the United Nations.
To this end, the United Nations has set out to build guidelines, permits, and sanctions to assist members to reach the goals of REDD+. Since the U.N. court’s founding in 1946, the U.N.’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) has sought to “render judgments on disputes submitted to it by States and to furnish advisory opinions on questions referred to it by authorized bodies.” (“United Nations: International Law Documentation,” n.d.) In the past, as with today, most resolutions are truly just international agreements. The U.N. lacks the power to enforce any program it ratifies. Individual nations, such as the United States, sometimes circumvent resolutions. In 2009, when the REDD+ text was made public, the United States’ representative declared the resolution would never pass. It was stated the document lacked clear language, no target dates for stopping deforestation, no financing, and no safe guards. Smaller countries like Papua New Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Columbia all sided with the U.S. They resisted all statutes to protect their biodiversity. The U.N. is limited to monitoring multiple nations’ actions through studies made by members such as Norway. Norway has taken a lead role in reviewing and assisting countries to adhere to REDD+. In Guyana, Norway laid out the forest “law enforcement and governance, and forced practices.” (“Study on Forest Law Enforcement and REDD+ in Guyana,” n.d.) This document was developed on site. Norway investigated the needs of indigenous people, wildlife, and the economic ramifications of REDD+.
Negotiations for the Kyoto Protocol began in 1997. This is a legally binding document. Industrialized nations must cut greenhouse gases by 5.2% compared to a collective output in 1990. This means our country must reduce emissions by 6%. Greenhouse gases are inclusive of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur, hexafluoride, hydro fluorocarbons, and per fluorocarbons. (“Kyoto Protocol-Toward Climate Stability,” n.d.) The...
References: About CDM (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2011, from http://www.cdm.unfcc.int/about/index.html
Kyoto Protocol – Toward Climate Stability (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2011, from http://www.kyotoprotocol.com
National Programmes (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2011, from
Schulz, Nick. (2011, July 26) This U.N. Program Should Have Taxpayers Seeing REDD.
Retrieved September 21, 2011, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/nickschulz/2011/07/26/this-u-n-program-should-have-taxpayers-seeing-redd
Study on Forest Law Enforcement and REDD in Guyana (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2011, from http://www.forestindustries.eu/de/content
United Nations (UN): International Law Documentation (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2011, from http://www.un.org/Depts/dhl/resguide/specil.htm
UN-REDD Programme – Climate Funds Update (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2011 from http://www.climatefundsupdate.org/listing/un-redd-programme
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