Seeing REDD over opinions on land capability

Yesterdays’ SMH reports on troubles with the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD) scheme, in particular a dispute between Norway and Brazil about ‘who should be responsible for verifying the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by trees.’

According to the Brazilian government’s climate change envoy ‘actions to prevent deforestation are national measures that should be governed locally and not by international bodies’.

This situation is very similar to what exists in Australia where, under the RFA’s, the Commonwealth continues to provide forest certification on the basis of  local opinions rather than solid and verifiable data. Traditionally, the differing opinions of loggers and conservationists have been based largely on morals, so the only competition to that great Australian tradition, if it moves shoot it and if it doesn’t cut it down or dig it up, has been the belief that logging is bad and National Parks are good.

At this point we get into personalities and my thanks to king1394 for the following Oscar Wilde quote –

“I never came across anyone in whom the moral sense was dominant who was not heartless, cruel, vindictive, log-stupid and entirely lacking in the smallest sense of humanity.”

However, there has been a change to the tradition since the RFAs and now the lines between the two sides are a bit more blurred.

Next week the ‘Atlas of Living Australia’ (ALA) are holding a forum “so do come and join us for fun and enlightenment” in Merimbula to “celebrate the history of ecology and biodiversity on the NSW south coast”.

The ALA, creators of ‘citizen scientists’ and fun things like the Bermagui Bioblitz, suggest attendees at the ALA forum will have a chance to join discussions at this “special, never to be repeated opportunity to listen to the wealth of knowledge of these legendary scientists”.

While this turnout may be of interest, it’s being organised by former FNSW ecologist Dr J Shields, now running Conservation Canines and Rent a Ruminant (?), I’m probably on the federal government’s side and rather than opinions would prefer talk based on solid and verifiable data, collected as required under the RFA’s.

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