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REDD threatens rights of 350 million local people

Last week the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) program received a jump start with a four billion US dollar pledge from a number of industrialized nations. Under REDD tropical forest nation will be paid to keep forests standing, however the program—as it currently stands—has provoked concern over the rights of the some 350 million people living in or adjacent to forests.

The Accra Caucus on Forests and Climate Change, a coalition of some 100 organizations from 38 countries, has released a report outlining an alternative vision of REDD that would uphold the rights of local and indigenous people while protecting forests.

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Climate Talks Open in Bonn

The Bonn Climate Change Talks began on 31 May 2010, and are scheduled to conclude on 11 June. The meeting brings together reprsentatives from 182 countries and will include the 32nd sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies of the UNFCCC, the tenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA 10) and the 12th session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP 12).

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Indonesia announces plan to protect forests, peatlands

Indonesia's president on Wednesday announced a two-year moratorium on new concessions to convert virgin forests and peat lands into plantations, part of an internationally backed strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation.

The announcement by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono came on the eve of an international conference in Oslo, Norway, on climate change and deforestation.

Indonesia is one of the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gases because of rampant clearing and burning of its forests and peat lands for logging and conversion into palm oil plantations. The country has long been a target of harsh criticisms from environmental groups who have accused the government of failing to enforce its own laws.

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Agreement on financing and quick-start measures to protect rainforest

27 May 2010: Today heads of state and government, ministers and other representatives of some 50 countries concluded an agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. Around NOK 25 billion has been pledged for the period 2010–2012 for measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries.

“Measures to reduce deforestation are the quickest and least expensive way of achieving large emission cuts. At today’s meeting, around 50 countries agreed on a framework for the rapid implementation of measures for reducing deforestation. This could be an important step forward in the run-up to the climate negotiations in Mexico later this year,” said Prime Minister Stoltenberg at the Oslo Climate and Forest Conference.

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New vision needed for biodiversity conservation

Organizations, communities and schools around the world celebrated International Day of Biological Diversity on 22 May 2010 amid a call for a new approach to tackle declining biodiversity.

The theme for the day this year was Biodiversity, Development and Poverty Alleviation.

In Nairobi Kenya, the World Agroforestry Centre participated in a day of activities which brought to a close the scientific meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity which has been held in the city over the past fortnight. In a display at the National Museums of Kenya, we highlighted our work on growing high priority fruits and nuts and how the nutritious Moringa tree can help to combat malnutrition.

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