The second meeting of SBSTA started off with a bang yesterday. Agenda item 5, the first agenda item discussed at the meeting, dealt with deforestation in developing countries. Much praise was given to the work accomplished at the deforestation workshop in Rome. There seemed to be universal agreement amongst those parties initiating in the dialogue that a second workshop should be created.
Tuvalu kicked off the discussion with a call to consider the consultation of any party, or community, affected by deforestation decisions. Tuvalu also mentioned the need to include indigenous populations in the dialogue and decision-making process. A Maasai woman representing the IITP further elaborated on this.
The G77 and China, with the support of the Democratic Republic of Congo called for financial support in mitigating GHG emissions from deforestation specifically calling for a capacity building fund.
Indonesia made a valid point reminding delegates of how global market trends support deforestation in developing countries and until the demand for such resources diminishes, deforestation should be considered an issue the global society is responsible for. Nepal supported giving local control over forests stating that it has promoted reforestation and protection. It called itself an example country.
Switzerland, on behalf of the EU, called for the need to quantify value of forests and attribute market based mechanisms to forest protection.
I feel that the answer to deforestation lies in indigenous knowledge. The recent ECO had an article addressing the need to have indigenous people better represented at these meetings. At the end of the meeting The Global Environmental Center made a great statement about peat lands. They are the largest source of GHG emissions due to deforestation and are cheap to conserve.
I look forward to hearing more talk about deforestation in developing countries in the next few days.