REDD and Conservation: Avoiding The New Road To Serfdom

December 2010 – A World Growth Study

As negotiations for a new global approach to climate change remain stalled and there is no expectation of progress at the negotiations in Cancun in December 2010, donors have instead made the cessation of deforestation an interim target. A staggering USD 4 billion has been pledged to support this goal. This supposes two things about deforestation, or as we prefer to describe it, conversion of forest land to other uses. First, this will reduce emissions significantly. And, second, the conversion of vast areas of forest to conservation parks will benefit the people of those countries Continue reading

Protectionism: The New Tool Against Forestry in the Developing World

June 2010 – A World Growth Study

The World Growth report, “Protectionism: The New Tool Against Forestry in the Developing World” examines the way in which both Western governments and NGOs are using different types of trade controls to dictate forest policy in the developing world. The European Union in particular has launched a raft of policy measures that are aimed squarely at forest products such as paper and timber, while the US has amended the Lacey Act to control all imports of plant products. At the same time, both countries have used anti-dumping or countervailing procedures to impose Continue reading


May 2010 – Green Papers: Issue III

In a carefully co-ordinated campaign, environmental groups in Europe and North America are ‘greenmailing’ major companies in Europe and the US to suspend purchase of paper products and palm oil from Indonesian and Chinese producers. Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth in Europe, and Rainforest Action Network (RAN) in the US, have threatened to blacken the standing of luxury goods companies, major retail chains and major producers of grocery products unless they submit to Greenpeace demands. The assertions that these companies endorse serious damage to the environment 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 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