Collateral Damage: How the Bogus Campaign Against Palm Oil Harms the Poor

December 2009 – A study by World Growth
The world’s governments have convened in Copenhagen to determine a global strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There is every indication the issue is so thorny that no clear agreement can be reached at Copenhagen. It is likely the parties to the Copenhagen conference will try to identify the areas which can be the basis of a new global strategy and lay down a fresh mandate and program to meet it. Palm oil has been made the ‘poster child’ in this campaign to ensure that any global strategy to reduce greenhouse gases must also cease conversion of forest land to any other purpose. The campaign rests on Continue reading

Conversion – The Immutable Link between Forestry and Development

December 2009 – A Study by World Growth
Leading European Union (EU) members are pressing either for agreement to a ‘No Conversion’ principle, or for endorsement of the idea that no financial assistance should be provided to developing countries unless they apply a ‘No Conversion’ policy. These are policies that would increase, not reduce, poverty (nor have a meaningful environmental impact – most developing countries have already reserved large areas of forest to protect biodiversity). Furthermore, based on the same erroneous assumption about what drives deforestation, the EU is introducing trade measures to enable it to coerce Continue reading

The New Face of European Environmental Protectionism: Forestry and Climate Change

December 2009 – A World Growth Briefing
The European Union (EU) is seeking to impose environmental trade restrictions on food and forestry products which serve to protect European producers and harm viable sources of growth in developing countries. This action is not new. It is reflective of a longer term trend in the rise environmental trade protectionism. The last few years have seen the growth of regulation in the EU to address environmental concerns affecting trade in food and agriculture as governments have sought to manage the impacts of climate change and ensure environmental sustainability. This approach is being extended to Continue reading

Forestry and Poverty Newsletter – Copenhagen Edition – Issue 9, December 2009

Get REDD Right – Say “No to No Conversion”

A draft decision which has been circulated among some rich country delegations shows the ambition of Green NGOs and leading industrialized country delegations to use the climate change negotiating process to advance their agenda to curb forestry in developing countries.   Continue reading

Forestry and Biodiversity: A Healthy Report

December 2009 – A Study by World Growth
A great deal of criticism has been leveled at the global forest industry for its apparent contribution to biodiversity loss. Those undertaking forestry in natural forests are accused of wholesale forest destruction, leading to significant biodiversity loss. At the same time, those in the private sector that are establishing forest plantations are accused of propagating “sterile monocultures” that harbor little or no biodiversity. Consequently, the perception of forestry in the global environmental debate is that it is the enemy of flora and fauna. This perception rests on two assumptions. Continue reading

Green Poverty

November 2009 – Green Papers: Issue II
Greenpeace has been active in the global climate change negotiations. Its public message is “Stop Deforestation — save the Climate.” But this is not the Greenpeace forestry strategy. It is, as it was long before climate change became a global issue, to “halt commercial forestry” everywhere. Greenpeace has developed technical proposals to support the negotiations and has been active in discussions with donors on strategies for developing countries. Yet its research advances its political goals and its record demonstrates that it will pursue its objectives at any cost, including to the poor. Continue reading

Conflicts of Interest, Low-Quality Ratings, and Meaningful Reform of Credit and Corporate Governance Ratings

October 2009 – A report by Professors Charles W. Calomiris and Joseph R. Mason
Policymakers and academic critics have identified “conflicts of interest” in the rating industry that have led to poor ratings quality, harming investors who purchase over- or mis-rated investments. In this report the authors address the question of whether conflicts of interest can arise in the ratings industry without the monopoly benefit conferred by regulatory licenses like those given credit rating agencies that operate as Nationally Recognized Statistical Ratings Organizations (NRSRO). The authors show that Continue reading

Don’t Bag Indonesia’s Poor

October 2009 – Green Papers: Issue I
Wangan Maathai — the world’s first female African Nobel Prize winner and originator of the forest conservation Green Belt movement in Kenya — was recently asked on CNN what was the best way to stop deforestation. Her answer? ”Address poverty.” Forestry experts know it is the hunger of the poor for land for food, not commercial forestry, which drives deforestation. Frances Seymour, noted US environmentalist and international forest researcher told the United Nations recently that more than a decade research has found “most drivers of forest loss originate outside the forestry sector.”  Continue reading

Back to Basics: Restoring Economic Growth to the Aid Agenda

This report examines the proportion of the budgets of the key aid donor countries that has been devoted to promoting economic growth compared with other objectives. It reveals that all major donors were remarkably consistent in the reorientation of their aid programs.