Letter to the Editor: Carbon trading fails

DEAR News Of The Area,

WEDNESDAY June 5 was World Environment Day.

Apparently it was established in 1972, over half a century ago.

While I’m sure it has gone a long way in raising awareness of the global environment and environmental issues, one has to wonder about its impact in changing actual behavior and furthering the protection of the global biota.

Last month a Report compiled by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), a group of 15,000 scientists from 120 countries, found that market-based forest carbon trading schemes have largely failed to protect native forests from exploitation and permanent loss.

One example given is the recent granting of Forest Carbon Research Permits by the Malaysian Government to two large logging companies, allowing them to ‘selectively’ log old growth forests and claim carbon credits for the regrowth which then follows.

These are forests with the richest global biodiversity containing species seen nowhere else on the planet.

It is concerning that similar schemes to offset carbon emissions are currently operating in Australia and have repeatedly been called out for their failure to protect or to increase and enhance native vegetation as they were designed to do.

While logging is not currently included in carbon trading schemes here, Premier Minns recently made it clear that a carbon trading scheme could be a means of raising income out of designating new National Parks, and a reason for stalling the gazetting of the proposed Great Koala Park.

If this is the case, and the proposed Koala Park area which is currently undergoing an unparalleled logging intensity is finally gazetted under such a scheme, then it will in effect be the trading of trashed forests with credits received for restoring them.

No wonder we land at the bottom of the pile when it comes to assessments of countries with the poorest records on environmental protection.

Dave WOOD,
Boambee East.

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