FAKE FOREST DAY IN DURBAN - Saturday 4th December 2011
False solutions to climate change such as Agrofuels, REDD+, and CDM ‘afforestation and reforestation' offsets using monoculture tree plantations are being promoted by United Nations agencies and the corporate sector. Tree plantations are wrongly classified by the UN as a 'type of forest´ but should rather be considered ´fake forests´, given their destructive impacts and negative effects on communities; undermining the food sovereignty and security of millions of peasant farmers.
The proposed ´green economy´ will promote the expansion of tree plantations for the production of agrofuels, wood fuel-based energy and as 'carbon sinks', whilst the lands of peasant communities, including already marginalised Indigenous Peoples, will be increasingly targeted for 'land grabs' by Northern countries and corporations.
Fake Forest Day provided a space to create awareness of, and to denounce false solutions being promoted in the form of socially and environmentally destructive tree plantations, and their derivatives such as cellulosic agrofuels, 'bio-energy' from woodchips, and 'biochar'. Schemes to 'certify' destructive tree plantations as "responsibly managed forests" and promoting the introduction of genetically engineered plantation trees were also addressed.
The programme included expert speakers on the negative effects of monoculture tree plantations, from local and international organisations, including the Global Forest Coalition, BiofuelWatch, Econexus, the World Rainforest Movement, GeaSphere, La Via Campesina, the Global Justice Ecology Project, South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, Indigenous Environmental Network, The Corner House and the Timberwatch Coalition.
10-00 am – Welcome and IntroductionsSession 1: 10-30 am to 12-30 pm - Community and Ecology
* Winnie Overbeek, World Rainforest Movement –
The International Plantations Campaign: Why and How* Speaker (TBC), La via Campesina --
The Impacts of Tree Monocultures on Peasant Farmers
* Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network –
How plantations destroy Indigenous knowledge and culture
* Simone Lovera, Global Forest Coalition –
False Definitions: Calling plantations "forests" is dishonest! Panel Discussion Session 2: 1-30 pm to 3-30 pm – False Climate Solutions
* Blessing Karumbidza, Timberwatch –
Plantations as a false solution to Climate Change
* Rachel Smolker, BiofuelWatch –
Biomass based fuels are a threat to the Climate Too * Bongani Mthembu, SDCEA –
Downstream impacts: Pulp Mills = Poverty and Pollution
* Helena Paul, Econexus –
Plantations, and the end of biodiversity as we knew it Panel Discussion Session 3: 4 pm to 6 pm - Governance and Global Policy
* Anne Petermann, Global Justice Ecology Project –
Gene-altered trees and climate change* Philip Owen, GeaSphere –
Certification is not the right choice; FSC gets it wrong!
* Larry Lohmann, The Corner House –
How Plantations prop up Colonialism and Corruption Zandile Zwane, GeaSphere Swaziland Diego Rodriguez - Friends of the Earth, Colombia
Panel Discussion 6.00 pm - Thanks and acknowledgements