Discussions between investors and forest rights-holders have resulted in new guidance for investments that can create a ‘triple win’ of returns for investors, livelihood security for local communities and protection for forests.
"I am not exaggerating when I say that reporting on the UN climate change talks is one of the best experiences an environment journalist could ever have. Suddenly it seems as if everyone in the world talks only about forests, water and climate."
A first visit to a country is often the time when we ‘see’ the most, and our recent brief visit to Nepal certainly afforded some lasting impressions. High Himalayan ranges glistening in the sun contrasting with the air pollution and traffic congestion of Kathmandu; immense cultural, religious and architectural wealth side by side with acute poverty; roads without streetlights or traffic lights, and shops in the city centre lit by candles, (power cuts were increased from 12 to 14 hours per day during our visit).
Who had heard of G3 eighteen months ago? Nobody, because it didn’t exist.
Yet an alliance known as The Three Rights Holders Group has had a strong presence at COP 16 in Cancun, manning an information booth and participating in various panels.
The group’s message was a simple one, advocating for sustainable forest management and locally controlled forestry as a vital component in any realistic strategy going forward to address climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Forests continue to be trashed in many places. One recent estimate, admittedly ‘on the back-of-an- envelope’, indicates a global natural capital loss of US$2.5 trillion a year, of which forests represent a substantial part. We have all recently become used to hearing about trillions of dollars being wiped off the world’s ‘virtual economy’, but this natural capital is real, and its loss is permanent.